Jan White

Abortion has dominated recent news headlines following the New York legislature passing a law making abortion legal until the point of birth.

I have always believed that all life is precious, both born and preborn. My passion for being pro-life began almost 30 years ago when I read a book by Frank Peretti titled “Tilly.” His words challenged me to be a voice for the sanctity of human life. I realized it was not enough just to say I was pro-life, but what could I do? About this time, I met a petite, gentle grandmother whose passion for life fanned the flame in me.

I’m not sure when I first met Jean Baker, but she and I became traveling companions to area pro-life meetings. Since most of them were held in the evenings, I would go by her house and pick her up and we would ride together. She was always ready to participate, whether by gathering names on petitions or writing state legislators.

Then, a group of Christians from various denominations decided we should help the women making the choice between life and abortion. Baker remained active as Sav-A-Life was organized to offer free pregnancy tests and confidential, compassionate counseling to women, as well as maternity and baby clothes. Sav-A-Life Family Hope Center opened its doors in Andalusia on Mother’s Day 1992. This ministry now provides free limited ultrasounds and parenting classes.

Baker became one of the founding board members of Sav-A-Life and served as both a board member and volunteer counselor as long as she was physically able.

Among my memories of Miss Jean, as we lovingly called her, there is one that still speaks to me today. During one of our many conversations, she told me about her reaction to the news on Jan. 22, 1973, the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand.

Miss Jean recalled being shocked that something like this could happen in our country. For most of the day, she wept over the tragic decision that legalized the abortion of over 60 million preborn babies in America during the past 45 years.

Once I’d read “Tilly,” met Miss Jean, and learned the facts about abortion, I knew I must speak up for the preborn who couldn’t speak up for themselves. I learned that one in three pregnancies in the United States was ending in abortion; and more babies had been aborted than the combined total of all our country’s war dead from the Revolutionary War to the present.

I also learned that 19 days after conception our eyes begin developing and at 22 days the heart begins to beat. Most of all, I learned what God’s Word says about the sanctity of human life. “This is what the Lord says – He who made you, who formed you in the womb” (Isaiah 44:2). We are “created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27).

I will always find encouragement to continue to do whatever I can for the pro-life cause when I recall the petite, gentle lady who took a stand for the sanctity of human life until her last breath.

Jan White is a wife, mother, and freelance writer who lives in Andalusia. Her email address is jwhite@andycable.com.

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