As a presidential candidate, a governor of Arkansas, or a 17-year-old who saw the need for Southern Baptists to be more involved with the pro-life issue, Mike Huckabee has never shied away from making an articulate argument on behalf of the unborn and their mothers. He certainly made many Friday night at the Vitae Foundation’s Pro-Life Event in St. Joseph, Mo.

For many years Gov. Huckabee has drawn a parallel to the issues of abortion and slavery.

“I wanted to see us move this issue to the place where as surely as the founder of my party, Abraham Lincoln, decided that he would stand up against the notion that one person could own another person and treat them as property,” Huckabee explained, “I wanted us to come to the realization, in my lifetime, that it is equally wrong for us to think that a person can own another person, even if that person is an unborn child.”

Huckabee acknowledged being a fan of Vitae for many years.  “This is a terrific group of people who are not just going through the motions, but are passionately committed to making it so that one day, abortion will be as rare as slavery in America,” he stated.

Vitae Senior Market Director Stacey Kromer shared the findings of Vitae’s seventh research study which concluded that women know that Planned Parenthood’s promises of healthcare are deceptive.  Women are so desperate and afraid that they will tolerate poor treatment.

“Participants believed that Planned Parenthood was withholding knowledge or options, was faking the relationship for profit, and made them feel like they were part of an assembly line,” Kromer stated.

Before he became the governor of Arkansas, Huckabee was a pastor in the Southern Baptist Church.  It was in that capacity that he saw first-hand what women endured after an abortion.  His experience lined up perfectly with Vitae’s recent research of women who had been customers at Planned Parenthood.

“We recognize that it is not an issue of women’s health, because as Stacey brilliantly pointed out, it not only destroys the health of the baby by taking its life, but I learned during my 11 years as a pastor that it destroys the woman who has that abortion,” the former pastor stated.

He shared that she may react in several ways: with anger or bitterness, defensiveness, as well as  being a very strong advocate for abortion because she’s had one and wants to be able to defend that position.  However, most often what he saw, talking with women, 10, 20, sometimes 30 years after she’d had the abortion, was that she was overwhelmed with a sense of guilt and shame.

“That’s when I came to realize what has been said here tonight; there are two victims in abortion.  Of course, the baby, we recognize that.  But let us never be angry or hostile or bitter toward that birth mother because truthfully she often is a victim of the persuasion of a boyfriend, a husband, a mother, a grandmother, or a group of friends,” Huckabee shared.

Being just days shy of this nation’s presidential election, Huckabee explained that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spend millions of dollars in advertising, telling you who they are.  Why?  Because advertising works.  The pro-abortion side has done their homework as well.

He noted that with the help of Planned Parenthood, people have been conditioned to believe that it’s just a blob of tissue, not really a person.  “There’s no big deal to it; it’s like having a tooth extracted,” Huckabee stated.

“After all, it’s your fundamental right to access health care.  Reproductive rights—the euphemisms that Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion folk have put out are just amazing.  They’ve conditioned us by advertising,” Huckabee noted.

The former presidential candidate was emphatic that Vitae’s work is a force in combating this cultural war.  By sending targeted messages when a woman is seeking an abortion and getting her to a center in her community where she will be supported and given hope is crucial, helping her avoid grief and shame.

“We need to be pointing people away from the abortion clinics and to places like the pregnancy resource center here in St. Joe.  Nobody does that better—nobody—than Vitae, because they go where the people are.  What’s silly is for us to think that we can change the culture of life without taking the message to where those young women are.  And what Vitae has recognized, through brilliant and thoughtful research is to know who they are and where they are and how to get to them with a message that speaks to them,” Huckabee noted.

Is it a daunting task? Absolutely, but the former governor of Arkansas said there isn’t anything more depressing to think about than the almost 60 million children that have died from abortion since 1973.

“Think about that for a minute.  The entire population of the United States is only about 330 million.  We’re talking about 1 out of 5 or 1 out of 6 of everybody alive today, we’ve killed since 1973.  This is stunning if you think about it,” Huckabee stated.  “Think back to the six million Jews that were killed during World War II.  We’re overwhelmed with grief by that.  I’ve been to Auschwitz three times.  It’s one of the most gut-wrenching experiences a person can ever have, to go through that death factory and realize that 10,000 people were killed every day in Auschwitz and Birkenau.   We say, how could that be?

“I’ve got a more important question.  How could, in this country, we kill 3,000 unborn babies a day?  Politicians stand and defend it, and even proudly proclaim that if they are elected we will expand the number of people who are killed in their mother’s womb.  Even up to the moment of birth!  This violates who we are as an American people,” Huckabee said, noting our Declaration of Independence.  “There’s no liberty or pursuit of happiness if there isn’t life because it’s taken.”

Vitae President Rob Rysavy told those gathered at the Radisson Hotel that no matter what happens in the upcoming election, we will continue to advance the vision that Vitae founder Carl Landwehr advanced 25 years ago.

“When one woman chooses life, that is cultural change.  As more and more women choose life, that tips the balance of cultural change.  That will happen regardless of the actions of politicians or the actions of the courts,” Rysavy explained.  “When you support Vitae, you are helping bring cultural change.  You help us guide women to a pregnancy center where she is encouraged and supported in a decision that fills her life with promise.”

If you would like to help support Vitae’s life-saving mission, please donate today, so Vitae can help more women avoid the trauma of abortion.