Summit 2020 Summary
Originally posted at: https://anglicansforlife.org/2020/04/06/summit-2020-summary/
This article reviews the events and speakers from Summit 2020 in Falls Church VA on January 23rd, 2020. You can view all the videos from this Summit 2020 and all previous Summits on our Summit Videos page.
Christians engaged in sanctity of human life ministries should prepare for intensified conflict following a potential “correction” of the Roe v Wade court ruling, which struck down abortion restrictions across the United States, according to a speaker at a Summit of pro-life Anglicans.
“While this is a necessary step to end abortion, it will not
in itself do so,” stated Tom Glessner of the National Institute on Family and
Advocates, who advised that pro-life advocates should speak of “correcting”
rather than “reversing” Roe. “Any court changes on Roe will intensify conflict,
not resolve it. We should be prepared for a post-Roe reality.”
Anglicans gathered January 23-24 at The Falls Church
Anglican in Falls Church, Virginia for the annual Summit, jointly sponsored by
Anglicans for Life and the Anglican Church in North America’s Diocese of the
Timed with the National March for Life on January 24, the
Summit uniquely draws Anglican clergy, laity, and bishops from the United
States and Canada to discuss upholding the sanctity of human life from
conception until natural death.
Speakers shared of vulnerability and redemption in the most
sensitive of subjects, and participants were charged not to sit passively.
“The speakers and participants here may represent different
political parties and ideals, but we all serve Jesus Christ, and therefore we
support life,” Deacon Georgette Forney of Anglicans for Life said in opening
comments. “God calls every believer to serve as ministers of the Gospel of life
through hands-on ministry and disciple making.”
Forney noted it is her organization’s primary mission “to
equip the Church” in addressing matters including abortion and euthanasia.
“Discussing the pros and cons of a heartbeat bill with
someone who has had an abortion is not as important as sharing the Gospel,
although both need to be done,” Forney stated. “We are here to help the next
generation make better choices about life.”
Three busloads of Anglicans participated in the march, the
first to be addressed in person by a U.S. president who brought increased
coverage from national news media.
“Not a Tonsillectomy”
Summit presenters pushed back against an abortion rights
movement that has in recent years emphasized “owning” an abortion, rather than
a previous narrative of abortion as an undesirable but necessary action.
Twenty-seven percent of women who aborted reported
experiencing suicidal thoughts. Among teenage girls that rate rises to 50
percent, reported Charmaine Yoest, Vice President of the Institute for Family,
Community and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation.
“This brings us back to real women and the real abortion
experience that they do not want to talk about. It is not a tonsillectomy.
Abortion is a real death of a living human being and the woman has experienced
this,” Yoest insisted. “Grief ’s alter ego is defiance; the heart’s cry of the
defiant soul is power.”
The central premise of abortion, Yoest identified, is that
abortion in its guise as reproductive freedom is not merely healthcare but “the
irreducible minimum of feminine empowerment.”
Yoest said abortion proponents have framed the issue about
the “all-American rhetoric of choice and privacy”. Pointing to the campaigns of
former President Barack Obama, Yoest noted he characterized abortion not just
as an issue of choice, but rather as one of “equality and opportunity for all
In the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey ruling, the Supreme
Court majority argued that women have come to rely on abortion to maintain
their position and advancement in society, and because of this the earlier Roe
ruling must be maintained for power, self-actualization, and career
advancement. The Center for Reproductive Rights on its web site states that
reproductive rights are critical for “ensuring global progress to just and
democratic societies” – elevating abortion even further as critical to the
promotion of democracy.
Yoest maintained that it is the mission of pro-life
advocates to hold out an alternate vision of feminine power.
“Most of us are unplanned”
“There’s no such thing as an unwanted child,” declared
author Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation.
Abortion provider Planned Parenthood asserts “unplanned
equals unwanted equals unloved,” Bomberger relayed. “They decide that certain
human beings are unfit to live.” In contrast, Bomberger claimed “most of us are
unplanned,” sharing his own story of conception in rape and adoption into a
multiracial family of 15.
Seventy-nine percent of Planned Parenthood abortion
facilities are within walking distance (two miles) of majority African American
or Latino neighborhoods, reported Catherine Davis, founder and president of the
Restoration Project. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. abortions in 2016 were 5
performed on black women according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Summit participants also heard from speakers at a series of
workshops on local ministries.
Cynthia Collins of Speak Hope shared about ministering
amidst victims of sex trafficking, many of whom are coerced into unwanted
abortions by traffickers who see children as a threat to profits.
This context can be challenging, Collins reported, but she
shared of being drawn into the heart of Jesus. “Is not the child of a
prostitute worth saving? The Lord thought so: Rahab is in his lineage,” Collins
“Sometimes we overcomplicate loving people,” observed Amy
Ford of Embrace Grace, a ministry that connects local churches with those
facing unplanned pregnancy. “We equip churches with everything they need to do
Ford recalled speaking briefly at a conference of 10,000
women in Texas. “I know statistically that 2,500 of you have experienced
abortion. This does not disqualify you from ministry, because the blood of the
Lamb covers that,” Ford told conference participants. “That was thirty seconds,
but these women were free to tell their stories and our booth was flooded.”
“Someone might hear a woman speak and think ‘That story is way worse than mine, and if God did that for her then maybe God will love me too,’” Ford offered.
Written by Jeff Walton. This article was originally featured in the February 2020 edition of the Carpe Diem newsletter.