“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’; expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’; vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’, but conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’; and there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but because conscience tells one it is right.” 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The brilliant words above were spoken by a man who knew a lot about love. Dr. King defended the disenfranchised, dreaming of a world where everyone””no matter what his or her skin color””would have equal opportunities and be viewed as equally valuable members of the human family. King led the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and 60s to campaign for equal rights under the law. 

At 35 years old, King became the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize. In his acceptance speech for the award, King moved hearts with these words; “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated five years before abortion was legalized in the United States. But, if he were alive today it seems clear he’d be a champion for the unborn. King’s niece, Dr. Alveda C. King, speaks of her uncle’s commitment to being both pro-life and pro-abstinence before marriage. She testifies to King’s commitment to drawing his views from the, “unchanging word of God.”

Beyond Alveda’s thoughts though, it’s easy to extrapolate how King’s mission to stand up for the oppressed and unrepresented could flow into taking a stand for the unborn. King once stated that, “Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.” One has to believe that the violence of abortion would fall under King’s umbrella of things that are harmful for our society.

Those of us in the Pro Abundant Life movement need to make a Martin Luther King, Jr.-like commitment to the cause of the unborn. When standing up for life is far from politically expedient, popular, or politically correct””we must continue to follow King’s example and do what is right.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream of seeing racial equality and justice for the oppressed. He dreamt of seeing the sons of former slave owners and the sons of former slaves sit at the table together. In other words, he envisioned a world where people of all races were able to love one another as Jesus instructed. King was an ambassador of love, a man whose life was cut short because of the work he did to champion the rights of all men and women, created in the image of God.

Perhaps our vision for the future””a world where abortion would become not just illegal but unthinkable””possesses some similarities with King’s dream. We can make his words our prayer today as we continue to protect and defend the unborn: 

have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be plain and the crooked places will be made straight, “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”