Jentezen Franklin and Abby Johnson from 'Unplanned' Join for 'Life is Beautiful', Calling US Church to Unite Against Abortion
An overflow crowd of more than 4,000 people attended the "Life is Beautiful" meeting at Free Chapel's Gainesville, GA campus on Saturday to celebrate the unborn.
Organized by Pastor Jentezen Franklin, the event was designed to bring attention to the urgency for the church in America to address the issue of abortion. The aim of the meeting of Christian leaders, public servants, and the Christian community was to also show unity in providing a compassionate and grace-filled support network for women across the country.
In Franklin's opening remarks, he highlighted the recent legislation in the state of New York permitting abortion in the third trimester, up until the point of birth, and the recent comments of the governor of Virginia who condoned allowing babies who survive abortions to be left to die.
"If they're not ashamed to take that stand," he said, "then I am not ashamed to take the Word of God and say with all the love in my heart, that life matters to God and it matters to us."
"We no longer have the luxury of disunity in the body of Christ," Franklin added in an appeal to all Christian denominations nationwide.
"The lines have been drawn. Stand up for life," he told the audience. "And stand up for compassion and grace for those that have experienced abortion. We dare not be silent in such a time as this."
Every speaker at the event emphasized their love and concern for pregnant mothers who feel abandoned and think they have no options. They also prayed for healing and offered forgiveness for women who have been grieving from a past abortion.
Former Planned Parenthood clinic director and now a pro-life advocate, Abby Johnson, whose remarkable story has turned into the box office hit "Unplanned", also appeared at the event.
When she took the stage she was transparent about having had two abortions herself but is now celebrating that she is pregnant with her eighth child.
"Most people who work inside these abortion clinics are not there because they love abortion. They're there because of misguided compassion," she explained as she told the story of her eight years working for Planned Parenthood.
"I was very ignorant surrounding the topic of abortion. It was my ignorance, it was my naivety that led me inside the doors of the abortion industry," the former clinic director added.
Johnson said she reached a turning point in 2009 when she was instructed by her supervisor to double the quota of abortions at her clinic, and when later that year was asked to assist a doctor in an ultrasound-guided abortion procedure on a 13-week-old unborn baby boy.
"I watched this perfectly formed innocent human being become dismembered in his mother's womb," she said of the moment that led to her change of heart on the issue. "I believe that all of these things that happened in 2009 were God's way of chipping through the callous that had formed around my heart. I knew then that what I had seen was a grave injustice."
From that day forward, Johnson promised herself she would spend every day fighting for justice for the unborn.
"There is no such thing as an unwanted child because every child is created in the image and likeness of God, and very much wanted by our Father," she said. "Let us do everything that we can, not just to make abortion illegal, but to make abortion unthinkable in our society."