A Track Record of the First Five Years of NECAC Ministry (1983-1988)

John C. Rankin

In January, 1989, I wrote a summary of the first five years of ministry for the New England Christian Action Council (NECAC), from December, 1983, through December, 1988.

  1. In late 1983, very few evangelicals in New England were involved in pro-life apart from local efforts. We have involved several thousands since then, along with believing Roman Catholics who appreciate our biblical basis. Over this time, I have spoken in hundreds of places, especially churches. In nearly 100 instances, I have taught the half-day or evening “Sanctity of Human Life Seminar,” which outlines the biblical basis for our ministry.
  2. In dozens of university settings (e.g., Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, UNH, UMass, URI), I have spoken or debated, and have seen many students change their hearts and minds. In virtually every instance, the Gospel is proclaimed.
  3. We have sponsored dozens of public marches, worked with picketers at abortuaries [this was prior to our own June,m 1989 initiative at New England’s largest abortion center], generated substantial and various media coverage, counseled women suffering from post-abortion syndrome, made referrals for different needs, help initiate or encourage [especially through seminars] the founding of over a dozen Crisis Pregnancy Centers, supervised Seminary students in credit work toward their degrees, written various educational materials and research papers, participated with other pro-life groups consistently, etc. Our budget is modest and our financial appeal ethical. I am full-time, but all other help comes from dozens of volunteers.
  4. I have made a priority of direct communication with abortion advocates. We have seen an occasional change of heart (like a 30-year veteran of abortion advocacy who publicly conceded to me in debate), and many who silence themselves because I treat them with respect and they cannot counter our treatment of the facts. Bill Baird [the “father” of the abortion rights movement] has stayed clear of me since our 1985 debate. One effort helped a major denomination withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights.
  5. Our referendum campaign collected nearly 26,000 validated signatures in 105 Massachusetts representative districts — the largest public policy question petition drive in state history. Our research showed that some 80 per cent+ would answer “conception,” and our opponents knew this too, the power politics kept the question off the ballot. We shook the inner sanctum of the political pro-abortion establishment …