With abortion in the news headlines, a professing Christian doctor who claims he has performed more than 10,000 abortions will take part in a livestreamed debate Thursday night.
Dr. Willie Parker, who compares himself to Jesus and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will debate popular pro-life columnist and university professor Mike Adams on whether abortion is “a reproductive right or a moral wrong.”
The event will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern Time at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. It will be livestreamed by the sponsor, Summit Ministries.
Parker has famously declared that “as an abortion provider, I am doing God’s work.”
He claims in his book “Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice” that it’s a scientific fact that life does not begin at conception.
Summit Ministries President Jeff Myers believes it will be the “most important pro-life debate of our time.”
In an interview with WND, he recalled a time when leading proponents of abortion, such as President Bill Clinton, insisted it must be “safe, legal and rare.”
But the Madison Avenue approach to abortion politics seems to have been abandoned of late, with lawmakers in New York state cheering and clapping when they passed a bill last month allowing abortion until the moment of birth. The following week, Virginia’s governor, defending a similar bill in his state, made a case for infanticide in some instances.
“I suppose it’s to the credit of the pro-life movement that [proponents of abortion] have no argument other than the full-out embrace of everything abortion implies,” Myers told WND.
He observed that, historically, there’s been little debate as to whether a Christian should be pro-life.
“When Parker comes along and says, ‘I’m going to make a case why abortion is a moral good, and I’m going to call Jesus as a witness,’ we really felt like that’s got to be answered,” Myers said.
Parker: Abortion ‘my calling’
Last April, Parker, who practices in Mississippi’s only abortion facility, criticized a state law signed the previous month that bans abortion after 15 weeks.
In an op-ed for Glamour magazine, he wrote: “As an ob-gyn and a Christian, I see it as my calling to help women in making the decisions that are right for their health, their lives, and their families.”
He called “this radical abortion ban” an “assault on women across the South.”
In contrast to Parker, Adams, a professor at UNC-Wilmington, argued in a Townhall column “the fact that we are made in the image of God makes us all valuable from the point of conception.”
“There is no more important discussion for us to be having in the culture today,” Myers said in a statement. “Which persons deserve to have their life and liberty protected? It is a matter of life and death.”
Myers’ Summit Ministries helps equip students to “develop an intelligent, defensible Christian worldview before they go to college.”
The organization holds two-week conferences that prepare young people, ages 16-25, to influence culture by “understanding the Bible, refuting false worldviews, promoting the value of life, and championing economic and political freedom.”
He said alumni include influential people in business, politics, medicine, science, the military, Christian ministry and international relief work.
Teaching the Bible without fear of prosecution
As WND reported last May, Summit Ministries canceled conferences scheduled to take place in California last year when the state legislature proposed a bill making the offering of counseling against same-sex attractions in exchange for payment an act of “consumer fraud.”
Myers explained at the time that he viewed AB 2943, which later was withdrawn, as “a dog whistle to the left that intelligent Christians holding traditional views are fair game for discrimination, smears and frivolous lawsuits.”
Summit’s program would be subject to the proposed law because its presenters and mentors — Adams is among them — include defenders of traditional marriage and sexuality, as taught in the Bible.
Typically, students ask Summit staff how to address confusion over gender identity and sexual attraction in the context of their faith, he explained.
“What are we going to say to a young person experiencing sexual confusion?” he asked. “That the state of California forbids us from allowing a biblical ethic embraced by billions of people for thousands of years to inform our answer?”
Myers told WND on Tuesday that Summit hasn’t returned to California, even though the consumer fraud bill was withdrawn.
“We haven’t gotten assurance either from the state or courts that our mentors who work with students would be safe to communicate a biblical worldview without prosecution,” he said.