Abortion. OK, what just came to mind? Was it the 62 million+ children killed over the years since Roe vs. Wade? Was it perhaps that time you protested on the sidewalk with a sign bearing a pro-life statement? Maybe scenes from the movie Unplanned? Or was it a mental picture of a scared young woman in a very difficult situation and confused about how she will support and care for her unborn child? All of these are understandable thoughts. However, I dare say that the last mental picture of that scared mother was probably not the first that came to mind for many of us.

Years ago, my wife was part of a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs) group at church. Many topics were discussed, and eventually the abortion topic came up. During the discussion of how awful abortion was, one lady was particularly silent. Finally, she had the courage to share.

Years ago, she had an abortion. She kept this secret from her current three children. Every year when their church had a “giving tree” at Christmas, each of her three children was allowed to choose a less advantaged child for whom to buy a gift. However, she always pulled an extra tag off the tree to help a fourth child. When asked why, she simply told her children that she’d tell them someday.

I don’t know if she ever told them about the reason for that fourth tag. What I do know is that the pain from the abortion was still there, decades after that fateful decision. So, I ask all of us to show Christian love to these scared, confused mothers. We obviously need to counsel them on why abortion is the wrong decision for their unborn child, but also why the decision is wrong for them and their future life. They may never have the courage of the lady in MOPs to admit their pain and feelings of guilt, but it will still be there haunting them for decades to come.

At the same time, we need to continue the fight against abortion and the pain it causes. I ask you to continue to elect candidates to the North Dakota State Legislature who have voting records that support protections for the unborn. Contact your legislators on particular bills that support pro-life policies. Write that Letter to the Editor explaining why you are pro-life. And yes, stand on that sidewalk in front of the Fargo abortion clinic to pray and help counsel young mothers to make the right choice.

You have a critical role in preventing the travesty of abortion, so make your voice heard, for these children and their mothers. In a God-honoring and compassionate society, there will never need to be a fourth tag.

For life,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director


Expecting mothers and fathers work hard to ensure that their child is healthy, loved and well cared for before he is even born. A mom might watch her diet, start exercising, take prenatal vitamins, or learn relaxation techniques because she’s told all of this is good for the baby. Dad might take on more household responsibilities or work responsibilities to make sure mom is relaxed and healthy. Expecting parents will often read to the baby, play him music, and tell him how happy they are he is coming. While friends and family might certainly share in the joy of the parents, there’s not much they or even the state can do directly for the baby until after he’s born.

While over the past few decades states have made great strides in protecting the rights of preborn babies – including medical protections particularly in the later stages of pregnancy and criminal penalties for causing the death of an unborn baby – states have a long way to go in encouraging ways to attach benefits to those rights.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our state laws allowed parents even more ways to recognize the lives of their children—before they are even born?

We shouldn’t have to wait until we hold our children in our arms before their lives have value in the eyes of our government and our culture. That’s why Family Policy Alliance® and our state-based allies work hard to advance innovative laws that honor the lives of preborn children. What if, at the moment a family finds out they’re expecting, they could sign up for an education savings account for their new child, that could be used upon the child enrolling in school? That would be quite a savings account! What if parents could place their preborn child’s name on a school waiting list? Or obtain medical insurance coverage for baby, even if the parents are uninsured? Claim tax credits and deductions because your family size is already plus-1? What if relatives could open a savings account in the baby’s name, that no one else would have access to except the child when mature?

These types of benefits being available directly for the preborn baby could give families an additional eight or nine more months to plan and prepare for the arrival of their child. It would also bring great peace of mind to parents, knowing they have a six-year head start on their education savings, or a tax-credit that comes in the mail just in time to support their growing family.

We know preborn babies have the right to life! Now it’s time to work with state lawmakers to expand on this idea and ensure we’re exploring other ways to cherish the lives of preborn babies—especially as legislators head back to state Capitols this January, the prolife month.

By Stephanie, Esq., policy manager for Family Policy Alliance