The unborn need a Wilberforce

Posted: Mar 01, 2007 7:30 PM
The unborn need a Wilberforce

In movie theaters across the nation, audiences are being treated to the extraordinary story of William Wilberforce's impactful life. He was a man whose deep faith in God fed an indomitable belief that all people have an inherent right - bestowed by God - to life and freedom.

Director Michael Apted's "Amazing Grace" has been praised for its telling of Wilberforce's contribution to humankind. And indeed it is worthy of much praise as both a recounting of the man's life and as a dramatic production.

Wilberforce took what was then an unpopular position - ending slavery in the British Empire - and devoted his life to it. During his 18-year crusade, he endured ridicule, vilification and scorn but remained undaunted. He was inspired by God's amazing grace. And he ultimately succeeded.

Today, God's grace visits us again.

In Miami, Amillia Sonja Taylor captured the hearts of millions and the attention of doctors with her courage, strength and zest for life. Born at 21 weeks and six days, she weighed only 10 ounces and was 9.5 inches long - about the size of a ballpoint pen.

Last week, she was brought home by her doting family weighing four and a half pounds. The world's youngest baby ever to survive, little Amillia has moved the threshold of viability in the ongoing fight to protect the unborn.

"She's truly a miracle baby," said Dr. William Smalling, M.D., neonatologist, Baptist Children's Hospital.

"It may be that we need to reconsider our standard for viability in light of Amillia's case," said Dr. Smalling. "Over the years, the technology that we have available to save these premature babies has improved dramatically. Today, we can save babies that would have never survived 10 years ago."

How are these individuals who lived nearly 174 years apart connected? One ended slavery in the British Empire by changing the hearts of powerful men and the other impacted how doctors view the unborn because she simply wanted to live. Both focused the attention of good men and women on how life should be treated.

When Wilberforce began his fight, English slave traders had already destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands African men, women and children. Those captured on the African coast were denied their human rights by evil men engaging in evil acts. Yet seemingly good and God fearing people did nothing.

Wilberforce implicitly understood that non-cooperation with evil is just as much a moral obligation as cooperation with good.

Today, we face another evil and we need another Wilberforce. Abortions in American have taken the lives of more than 48 million babies since the Supreme Court's 1973 decision.

Those of us in the pro-life moment must strive to be today's Wilberforce for the unborn. We must continue to not cooperate with this legalized evil. And we must continue to wage our battle in the courts, in Congress and legislative bodies across the nation, through direct action and in the hearts of men and women.

The author John W. Gardner said, "There occurs at breathtaking moments in history an exhilarating burst of energy and motivation, of hope and zest and imagination, and severing of the bonds that normally hold in check the full release of human possibilities."

That moment occurred for Wilberforce when he set forward on his life's journey. Little Amillia's courage and zest for life inspires the battle to establish the right to life as the premier right among all of God's given rights. She inspires another breathtaking moment in history.