Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., wants more pro-life policies and legislation enacted in the United States, and the way to do that, he said at the 2018 Evangelicals for Life conference, is to acknowledge common interests in preserving life and persuade others through honest dialogue.
Photo by Rocket Republic
Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma (pictured) and Ben Sasse of Nebraska delivered keynote speeches Jan. 18 on the first day of the third annual Evangelicals for Life conference in the nation’s capital.
“I don’t want to be hateful with people, and I don’t want to be grotesque,” said Lankford. “But I do think many people have flippantly chosen words like pro-life and pro-choice, and have never really thought about the next step.”
Lankford was a featured speaker at the Jan. 18-20 event in Washington, D.C., where he gave an address entitled, “Human Dignity and Public Policy: Why Pro-life Laws Matter.”
The former Southern Baptist youth minister and director of Falls Creek Conference Center in Davis, Okla., pointed out instances where human life is valued across a broad spectrum of American society.
He spoke about government funded medical research teams studying cancer treatments in zebrafish and widespread media attention on a professional basketball player, J.R. Smith, whose daughter was born prematurely at 21 weeks.
“It became a national conversation,” he said, “… about very early births and viability.”
Lankford encouraged people to consider facts about abortion and religious freedom.
“191 countries in the world will not allow late-term abortions, after 20 weeks. There are only seven countries in the world that will allow abortions at five months, and we’re one of those,” he said. “In fact, there are only four countries in the world that will allow elective abortions at 25 weeks. … China, North Korea, Vietnam and the United States. What an elite group we’re in – the worst human rights violators in the world.”
Referring to an Illinois nurse fired for refusing to participate in abortion related services, Lankford asked, “Are you willing to take a vegan that works in the grocery store and compel them to work in the butcher shop?”
Most people would answer no, he said.
“We would rightfully be furious to hear about a man who fired a woman at work because she didn’t receive his advances,” Lankford added. “In America we should be able to have different points of view, and find a way to have real dialogue and conversation.”
Lankford concluded by emphasizing the need for local churches to care for vulnerable families, encouraging foster care, adoption and other types of aid.
“There is a focus among some to say government is getting too big, too complicated and too expensive,” he said. “But really, what’s happening is families are collapsing, and as families are collapsing, government is trying to rise to fill the gaps … more penitentiaries, pouring more money into education, more assistance for moms who are left out there exposed with their children. And government continues to rise with programs, so we at times try to jump on the stack of government and push it down. Really what we need to do is jump underneath families and push them up.”
Watch the full talk below.