Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Speaking Up for Life

Episode Resources

Watch Autumn's Video: Response to Teen Vogue from a Pro-Life Teen

Watch Speaking Up for Life: Autumn Lindsey's Story

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Autumn Lindsey often speaks to groups of young people. She’s trying to get them involved with the pro-life movement. Here’s what Autumn has come to believe.

Autumn Lindsey: This generation will be the generation to end abortion, or to make it no longer legal. I think it’s so important to have young people getting passionate about this issue, because quite frankly, we need more people angry about what’s happening.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned, for January 18, 2019.

Nancy: This weekend churches across the United States will be gathering to mark Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. That’s the day that we pause to celebrate life as a gift from God and to pray for an end to abortion in our country.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday coincides with the anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that effectively legalized abortion in this country in 1973. As we approach this marker year after year, do you sometimes feel just tired, like everything that can be said on this topic has already been said?

Today we’re going to hear from a teenager who realized that she could do something! She realized she had the ability to speak up for those who couldn’t speak up for themselves. Let’s jump right into the story of Autumn Lindsey.

About a year-and-a-half ago, she started hearing about an article from Teen Vogue magazine on her social media feeds. Autumn doesn’t usually read Teen Vogue, but she decided to check out this article for herself.

Autumn: The article was called “What to Get a Friend Post-Abortion.” So it was ten things you could buy your friend, little gifts—gag gifts really—as kind of a gesture to help her along with the aftermath of the abortion.

One of them was a Ruth Ginsburg coloring book, one of them was a uterus heating pad—you know, they were just ridiculous gifts—a funny movie to get her mind off of it. It was all just very light-hearted, and it was a very blasé approach.

The point of my article kind of was, “No matter what stance you have on abortion, you shouldn’t be talking about it in this way.”

Nancy: Autumn was saddened by the flippant attitude in this article, and she was especially concerned since it was written to such a young audience.

Autumn: Teen Vogue is targeted toward teens, so I think their goal is to kind of, at a very young age, start saying: “Abortion’s not a big deal!” You know, “It’s a simple procedure; it’s very common.” It’s so that when those girls are older and maybe in that situation, they remember, “Oh, yeah, I heard about this when I was younger. It’s not that big of a deal!”

And so I think they’re targeting girls in a way that’s kind of catching them at an early age so that they continue with that line of reasoning later on in life.

Nancy: Lindsey had grown up hearing from her parents that abortion is a huge problem in this country, but she had never gotten personally involved. That changed as she began discussing this article with her family.

Lindsey: My sister-in-law actually was like, “You should do a video. You should just say something.” I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea, but I just felt like it was something God was calling me to for some reason.

Looking back, it’s not something that I would usually do. It’s not something that I’ve done before, so I think it was really just God opening that door and He had me walk through it. He really needed me to do that, because I think it is a message that a lot of young girls need to hear.

I read the article. I read a few articles that were talking about the article—rebuttals. Then my mom and I sat on my couch in front of the fireplace. It took, I’d say, probably an hour-and-a-half, maybe two hours, to write a ten-minute script . . . which is crazy! Usually, it takes me a lot longer to do that. And then the next morning we found a studio, and we filmed it.

Autumn on video: Hello, my name is Autumn. I’m sixteen, and would like to talk to you about an article recently posted by Teen Vogue called, “What to Get a Friend Post-Abortion.” And since I’m a teen, this was directed toward me, and I would like to respond.

Nancy: Autumn sounds so confident in this video. It might seem like she’s had a lot of experience in front of the camera.

Autumn: No, that was kind of the first video that I’ve ever made.

Autumn on video: The point of the article was to make this situation seem as lighthearted and nonchalant as possible in order to convince girls my age that abortion is no big deal. Well, we need to clarify one thing first: Abortion is a big deal—a very big deal—and to say it is not is simply feeding us a lie!

Autumn: So I just started out and said, “Teen Vogue should be responsible for this.” They’re a fashion magazine; they should not be talking about abortion in the first place. Second of all, they shouldn’t be talking about it in the way that they are.”

Autumn on video: Such a blasé approach hurts women who regret their abortions. It minimizes their pain!

Autumn: So I just kind of listed out some of the gift ideas. I think I talked about five or six. I just pointed out how incredibly offensive and crazy this article was!

Autumn on video: Gift number one: a funny movie. Let’s look what this is saying: “We understand that you’ve had a rough day, so here’s a funny movie to get your mind off of it.” That’s not the time for that! Abortion is a loss, and so you shouldn’t be treating it like you just got your wisdom teeth taken out. You should be treating it for what it is—a tragedy!

Number seven: A needlepoint that reads, ‘We Won’t Go Back!’ I’m only sixteen and know that guilt follows women for years after abortions. And I also know a cross-stitch isn’t going to change that! But this article said, “There is nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about.”

If girls are being told this, no wonder our culture has become so desensitized to the idea of taking the life of a baby! It’s only after it happens and the guilt plagues them and the depression drags them down that they look at the cross-stitch on the wall that their friend gave them and think, I actually wish I could go back!

But sadly, by then it’s too late. The “We won’t go back” turns into, “We can’t go back.” Which, unfortunately, is something women only realize after they’ve had an abortion.”

Autumn: And so, I just wanted to share with young girls that this is not the reality, and if you take this as truth, later on in life—if you do have an experience with abortion—you’ll understand that it is not what they laid it out to be, because not only is it physically painful, but mentally it leaves so many women in turmoil.

Planned Parenthood is saying, “This is the greatest thing for you; this is a good decision. You’re going to feel better.” But in all reality, if you stand outside Planned Parenthood, the women coming out of there are crying. They’re broken, and they feel like they’ve lost something—because they have!

But no one talks about that. So I think something that people need to be more aware of is that abortion is not something simple!

Nancy: In Autumn’s area, a group of young people had organized to speak up for life. Autumn had never gotten involved with that group, but once she recorded this video, she began partnering with them to let people know about it.

Autumn: So we actually reached out to Students for Life of America, which is a very large non-profit pro-life organization. Because that was the group that had started in my area, we reached out to them and asked them if this was something they’d be interested in sharing.

They picked up the video, shared it through their outlets, and so then we kind of just started watching the views go up and seeing the shares and the comments—which was unbelievable! I tried as I hard as I could to not read the comments, because the bigger it got, the more circles it reached. It kind of left the pro-life circle which we kind of started in.

So the video started to get big and then . . . I now teamed up Students for Life. I intern for them. I speak at conferences on behalf of them now. I do videos, interviews, blog posts, so it’s been a really, really amazing experience! And it all started with a ten-minute video.

Nancy: By the time our team talked with Autumn, this video had been seen by a large audience.

Autumn: If you add up all the outlets it was shared on, I think it’s about seven million! So it’s beyond expectations of what we thought it would do!

Nancy: Autumn realized that by speaking up, it encouraged other young people to get involved with this issue as well.

Autumn: What surprised me the most, I think, was the fact that God used it so quickly! He had been planning this for years. I compete in a speech and debate league; I started that about three years ago. Three years ago, I hated speaking in front of people! I would never had done this.

I think way back then He knew this is a tool I would need now, the ability to speak. Thinking about all of the things that He had set up for this moment . . . He started years ago preparing me for all of this—working in my heart, giving me compassion for the pro-life movement, giving me the ability to know how to speak and debate so that I can handle this issues, but also do it in a way that’s loving and compassionate. So I think the most surprising thing is how long God has been preparing for this.

I think, for me, the biggest thing has been being able to be a voice for other teens. I meet a lot of people that now look up to me because of what I’ve done. But I get to stand there and say, “It’s nothing special; there’s nothing unique about me that makes me more able to do this than anyone else.”

It’s really just the fact that I was willing to stand up for what I believe in and be a voice, and God is going to use that for His glory. It has been such an amazing experience to be not only kind of a role model for other teens, but just to be an encouragement to say, “This is absolutely something that you can do.” I get to encourage teens to be involved in the most important movement of our time.

Nancy: By speaking up in this public way, Autumn now has a lot more opportunities to speak to people one-on-one as well.

Autumn: It opens a lot of doors for conversations—even with family members. It’s just because they see, “My niece is now doing this. We had no idea she was interested in this!” And so, it opens a lot of conversations.

I think the most important thing is being able to have a one-on-one conversation. A couple weeks ago I was standing on a street sidewalk with my club, protesting. There was a local brewery that was having a Planned Parenthood party.

We had people come over across the street to yell at us, to spit on us, to tell us that we’re wrong. But being able to have a level-headed conversation with somebody can be really impactful because a lot of the times they just don’t fully understand a lot of the aspects of the movement.

There are disagreements on when life begins, when human rights begin and so, it’s been really amazing to be able to have those one-on-one conversations with random people off the street.

Nancy: These one-on-one conversations are not always easy. Autumn has encountered some really angry people while discussing abortion.

Autumn: They just get so irate, because lot of the times what you find out is that they’ve had an experience with abortion—whether it’s their girlfriend, whether it’s themselves, whether it’s their mother, their grandmother—because one in three women have had an abortion. So it’s very likely that the people we’re talking to have had an experience with abortion.

So when you talk about it, it’s a personal issue for them. So you have to be really careful in the way that you do it. It can be difficult to navigate, sharing truth, but being compassionate to them in case they’ve had an experience with it.

Nancy: Autumn Lindsey has discovered something else by speaking up about abortion: When you take action it makes your passion grow and that leads to more action!

Autumn: You know, the more you get involved, the more you care. I’ve also seen the more I get involved, the harder it is for me to even understand why anyone is pro-choice. Because when you research about not only the pro-life movement, but abortion . . .

You have to educate yourself on what is actually happening. I was researching for a blog post on different abortion procedures. If anyone really saw an abortion, there would be very few people who thought it was fine. They’re kind of under that misconception that most of the time you just take a pill and everything goes away. But that’s not the reality of it.

I think the further I get into the movement, the more knowledge I get of what abortion is and the effects of it, I think I definitely have grown more passionate for this movement. Our local group is really, really amazing with getting a group of teens to go stand and protest for four hours on a Sunday afternoon near a local brewery, because I think for a lot of people, that’s terrifying!

Talking about abortion is one of the hardest things, but that’s what we need, because when we’re talking about abortion we’re winning! When we’re starting a conversation, we’re able to discuss it and share the truth with people. That’s a benefit for us.

I think the most important thing is just getting people out there talking about it. In the end, that’s really going to benefit us.

Nancy: I think Autumn’s story can challenge all of us to consider whether there may be more that we could be doing to encourage a culture of life. That may mean that we need to sacrifice some other lesser priorities in order to get more involved.

Autumn: I know that people get busy and they have their lives, but this is a movement that is in desperate need of people who are willing speak up! I used to have a horse; I used to play piano; I had a lot more free time. I don’t necessarily enjoy talking about abortion as much as I do, but that doesn’t change the fact that abortion exists.

Because of that, we need people who are willing to put this as their priority—or at least one of their priorities. Maybe clean your room tomorrow and today go to this protest and stand up for life, because at the end of the day, that is incredibly more important because there are millions of babies that are being killed because abortion is legal.

That is absolutely something that needs to change! But we need people to speak up.

Nancy: Autumn has done that by partnering with a group: Students for Life of America.

Autumn: Other ways you can get involved are donating to your local pregnancy clinic, going outside of Planned Parenthood, and praying. There are lots of small ways you can get involved that aren’t going to take up a huge amount of your time, but anything is really going to help.

Nancy: Autumn doesn’t believe in all this activity just for activity’s sake. She truly believes that today’s young people can bring about change in our nation.

Autumn: We’re often called “the pro-life generation.” It’s this generation that’s rising up, and I strongly believe that this generation will be the generation to end abortion, or to make it no longer legal. I think it’s just so important to have young people getting passionate about this issue, because quite frankly, we need more people angry about what’s happening.

The fact that an abortion is happening every ninety-seven seconds is something that should motivate us all to get involved in hopes of making a difference. Because if you save one life, that’s hundreds of generations! So even one life is going to make a huge difference!

My hope is just to get more people involved and more people passionate, but that starts with getting more people to care about this movement. I think as you get further in this movement, you really understand that life is incredibly valuable! You understand that more, because when you’re involved in the movement, you’re seeing it happening.

I love babies! I have my two nephews, and I adore them more than anything! My cousin was told that her son had Down Syndrome while she was pregnant. And they were offered an abortion as an option—as most people do. And there was nothing wrong with him when he was born. He was perfectly healthy and one of the most amazing little boys that I know!

I’ve just seen so many instances where people were told that they should abort their babies—but that life is incredibly valuable! So whether the circumstances that you’re born in are not ideal, whether you’re born into poverty or into a family that isn’t necessary ready to have a child, that does not mean that that child’s life is less important!

I just think that no matter what age, life has incredible value. It’s something that we should absolutely protect! Something my mom always says is, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” My youngest sister is an amazing example of this.

She was born in China, and she was found in a ditch under a streetlight at one day old. I think she weighed four pounds. If you look at that, being born and being left in a ditch is the definition of “helpless.”

But because her mother chose life, she’s now living in America with an amazing family that adopted her—two loving parents, six siblings, two iPads, food, shelter, love. Because her mother chose life, we now get to enjoy her!

No matter what circumstances you’re born in, things will change. Adoption is an amazing thing! That’s why we have my youngest sister and soon-to-be younger brother. So where there’s life, there’s hope. Choosing abortion should never be an option.

There are resources for you, there are options for you. At the end of the day, there should be no reason to choose abortion.

Nancy: That’s Autumn Lindsey, who got involved in speaking up for life at age sixteen. Her story shows the power that even one voice can have when we’re willing to follow the Lord’s leading and to be bold in proclaiming the truth!

We’ve listened to Autumn’s story as we lead up to Sanctity of Human Life Sunday this weekend. I hope you’ll be asking the Lord how He might want you to get more involved in this cause. For Autumn, the first step was to post a video. Your first step may look different than hers, but I want to encourage you to pray about this topic of abortion and to check out ways to get involved—not only on this weekend, but even perhaps throughout the year.

If you don’t know where to start, look up a pregnancy care center in your area. Give them a call and ask if they have any needs or how you might be able to get involved in helping there.

I had the opportunity to speak at a pregnancy care center in our area, and I shared some thoughts about our opportunity to get involved in this big issue of our day. I’d like to share some of that evening with you. Let’s listen.

Nancy at local center: I know for a group like this it almost goes without saying, but we should never tire of reminding ourselves that God is the Author of life, that He’s the Creator of life, that He’s the Giver, the Source of all life.

He’s in the “life business”—creating life, sustaining life, preserving life. And through the death of His Son Jesus on the Cross, conquering death and purchasing eternal life for all who believe in Him. So we have a redeeming God who loves to reclaim lost, broken lives, and is in the process of making all things new.

I think we’re never more like God than when we value life and seek to preserve it, when we roll up our sleeves and we get engaged in the sometimes messy work of salvaging, rescuing, redeeming those whose lives are at risk.

Now, we know we have an enemy. God has an enemy, his name is Satan. And as the sworn enemy of God, we know that Satan hates life! He’s always sought to destroy it. It’s part of his game plan. You go back to the book of Genesis, and you recall that Satan persuaded Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, knowing that when they did they would reap the consequence of death as God had promised.

When Adam and Eve gave birth to two sons, Satan incited the elder of the two to murder his younger brother. Where did that come from? Satan is the author of death; he’s the thief that Jesus spoke of in John chapter 10 who comes only to steal and . . . what? . . . kill and destroy.

His intent, his strategy, are exactly the opposite of God’s plans, because it’s in the same verse that Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and that they might have it to the full” (John 10:10).

As a destroyer of life, Satan is definitely not into encouraging child bearing! Every child that is born has the potential to thwart Satan’s purposes by receiving God’s grace and becoming a subject of the kingdom of God. So anything that hinders or discourages women from fulfilling their God-given calling to be bearers and nurturers of life, anything that hinders or thwarts that furthers Satan’s purposes.

Every time a child in the womb has its life snuffed out, Satan celebrates a victory for his anti-God campaign. Every time one of those young lives is spared, Satan is dealt a blow and God’s life-giving mission is furthered!

In the midst of a culture that actively promotes death, we have a God who is on a search-and-rescue mission here on planet Earth. And the exciting thing is that we are all called to join with Him in protecting and preserving and rescuing lives.

It’s not just the people that work at the Pregnancy Care Center, but all of us are called to be part of that mission, preserving and rescuing lives of those who are the most needy, the most helpless, and often the most neglected:

  • regardless of their gender
  • regardless of their age
  • regardless of their socio-economic status
  • regardless of whether they live inside or outside of the womb
  • regardless of what value the world may or may not place on their lives

Nancy: Well, if you’ve missed any of today’s program about the value of human life and the opportunity to get involved in speaking up for life, you can hear it again at ReviveOurHearts.com. You’ll find several programs in our archives telling moving stories of women who did choose to abort their children and about the pain that followed—and the healing and forgiveness they found in Christ!

I hope you’ll join us again on Monday when we consider some of the conflicting messages we hear all the time. Now, they can’t all be true. So how can we weed out the lies and discover the truth? That’s what we’re going to talk about next week. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth helps you build God’s kingdom. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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