[In late 1983, I founded the New England Christian Action Council (NECAC) when I lived outside Boston, completing my M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The motto of the NECAC was “biblically committed to protecting the unborn” and my initial newsletters were entitled “Contrabortion,” written for grass-roots pro-life Christians. I started my engagement with the subject in a reactive posture, that is, defining and critiquing it. But being committed to the biblical foundations in Genesis 1-3, I grew consistently more proactive across the years. So here are the original unvarnished articles, as my thinking was at the time.]
Contrabortion, Vol. 3, No. 2, November, 1986
Forum at Brown University
John C. Rankin
In view of Question 14 on the Rhode Island ballot this fall (also, to be voted on tomorrow as I write this), some students at Brown University sought to set up a debate with myself and a “pro-choice” advocate.” But they were unable to dins one (except a university chaplain who could only do it on a night when I was debating the Unitarian Universalists). Eleanor Smeal [president of the National Organization for Women] had been there with nobody to refute here some weeks prior. Now I had an agreement with Ms. Smeal to debate her at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, in late September, but she backed out. And though I expressed my interest to debate her at Harvard, Brown or anywhere, she and the Boston chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) did not respond.
Thus, a debate could not be worked out. So the students sponsored an open forum with myself and a representative of Rhode Island’s Right to Life Committee. About sixty students attended, most of whom were “pro-choice.” Once again, as we have seen on other college campuses, hearts and minds were opened up to the Gospel, to the protection of the unborn. The two most outspoken “pro-choice” people talked with us for an hour after the forum was over. A woman student was most interested in hearing the Gospel, and a medical student said he was glad to meet with me further, to discuss the question again, to escort me through the hospital where he works with women facing severe complications with their pregnancies.