Saving The Preborn And Pulling “Human Weeds”

Suffer the Little Children, by Mark Belz (Crossway Books, 177 pp.; $7.95, paper). Reviewed by Guy M. Condon, executive director of Americans United for Life.

Many have noted the similarity between the mounting efforts to block the doorways of abortion clinics and the now-revered tactics of the civil-rights movement. Not surprisingly, the comparison irks abortion-rights leaders, such as the National Organization for Women’s Molly Yard, who calls prolife direct activism a “right-wing charade of harassment and terrorist action.”

More surprising, however, is the conservative Christian establishment’s tendency to discredit direct activism as a worthy expression of prolife concern. Yet, ironically, this may prove the most significant aspect of the comparison. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., also was forced to defend his tactics to his fellow black Christian leaders, who feared that civil disobedience would hinder the movement. Many prolife leaders are reacting to direct activists, often publicly, in the same way.

Because of the emerging potential for infighting and the need for understanding, if not coalition, Mark Belz’s Suffer the Little Children has come at a timely moment.

Belz, who heads a St. Louis law firm and holds the master of divinity in addition to his law degree, has written a cogent treatise on prolife direct action in distinctly Christian terms. His work constitutes an effective integration of philosophy, law, theology, and courtroom testimony. That he has been arrested and has legally represented others in the prolife struggle lends authenticity to his treatment.

Belz explains the nub of the controversy by saying, “Evangelicals want both respect for life and respect for ...

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