The Great Tragedy of the 2012 Election

A great tragedy unfolded less than one week ago on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

The tragedy was not found in the celebrations of elected officials or the concessions of defeat. It was not colored red or blue, and it wasn’t wrapped up in meaningless campaign promises.

The tragedy of the 2012 election is that in this land of the free and home of the brave, many people were not allowed to vote. Their voices were silenced. Their votes were not cast. Their opinions not expressed. Why?

Because they were dead.

The great tragedy of the 2012 election is that roughly 33 million would-be voters had been murdered. From 1973 to 1994, roughly 35 million babies were aborted. That’s roughly 35 million 18- to 39-year-olds who could not vote from the grave.

This is an unspeakable tragedy.

They did not have the chance to learn what makes our nation so great. They did not have the chance to watch the results roll in with their friends and family. They did not have the chance to rest their heads on a pillow in the land of the free.

But this tragedy is not over.

In 2016, roughly 5 million more voices will be unheard. Why? Because more than 3,500 babies will be killed today. And each day leading up to Tuesday, November 8, 2016. In the three minutes it takes you to read this article, seven babies will have been aborted in the United States of America. Their voices silenced. Their freedom robbed. Their bravery unknown.

Close to Home

This is a tragedy that hits close to home. When I was 19, I chose to end the life of my first child through an abortion. My friend and I were in a scary place, we didn’t plan to get married, and we had nowhere else to go. So we opted to end the life of our child.

That child would be 16 today. They’d be excited about driving a car and, in just a couple of years, they’d be excited about voting. But they won’t be doing any of that. We won’t be sitting down together as I explain how to think about policies and the candidates who represent them. I won’t be able to tell them about freedom and justice for all. I took that freedom away with my injustice.

I cannot undo what I’ve done in the past. None of us can. Only Jesus, who shed his blood for sinners like me, can heal those wounds. Jesus gives us great hope in the midst of this tragedy, and all the other tragedies we face in this life.

Refuge in Jesus

If you have committed an abortion, I want you to know there is a refuge in Jesus. He will heal your wounds. There is no sin so great that he cannot forgive and no sin so small that does not need to be forgiven. If you will confess your sins and turn to him in faith, he will wash away all your guilt and all your shame. Come to Christ.

If you support abortion, I encourage you to spend time in prayer and ask God to show you if abortion pleases him or not. Ask a Christian to help you learn what God’s Word says. I know you already have deeply rooted ideas. I did too. But I encourage you to take the time to read what God says about life and who has the right to give and take it away. I encourage you to start with Psalm 139.

Difficult Choice

If you are a Christian, be patient with those who view things differently. But also speak truth in love to those who are in need. Find ways to help those who are struggling through unplanned pregnancies. Investigate options for adoption and invest in the lives of those who are facing difficult choices.

I have on my wall a picture of a 3-year-old boy in cowboy boots. He nearly wasn’t with us today because his mother was in a difficult place. She was unmarried, pregnant, and scared. But my wife met with her, prayed with her, and took her to a Christian doctor who showed her the baby in her womb through a sonogram. That young mother had the courage to keep her child.

That young boy’s smile reminds me that God can save children, one at a time. He does this by using his people to come alongside the struggling to lovingly show them the Christ who can walk them through any terrifying situation—even an unplanned pregnancy.

I believe the only hope to turn the trend of this tragedy is for people to turn their hearts toward the God who made them through the way paved by his Son Jesus. Jesus changes hearts, and changed hearts can change a nation. May God give us grace as a country, and may God give us courage to stand up in the midst of this tragedy so that, if he tarries, many more will cast votes in 2030.

Lord Jesus, we need your help.

  • Scott Klusendorf

    This is a powerful post, Garrett. Thank you.

  • Steve Cornell

    Thank you! We must never forget or become indifferent to this horrific truth (From 1973 to 1994, roughly 35 million babies were aborted. That’s roughly 35 million 18- to 39-year-olds who could not vote from the grave.)

    On November 7, 2008, I wrote the following:

    With the election of Barack Obama as 44th president of the USA, in a more profound way, we move further from some of the saddest days of American history. The wrongful treatment of African-Americans during the days of slavery must never be repeated. Ironically, however, another group of vulnerable citizens has received far worse treatment. Will the new president’s policies further the horrors unleashed upon this group? Or, will he stand in a great tradition of those who against all odds and pressure oppose oppression and violence?

    Will our new president help the helpless? Will he hear the cries of the most precious and vulnerable citizens? Or, will he cower to the pressures of popularity and political expedience? The unborn babies living in their mothers’ wombs need a president who cares and values their lives. Will he refuse to support any policies aimed at their destruction? Will this president say, “Never again!”? Or, will he increase the horrific systematic destruction of the unborn? Will he deny their personhood and let them die brutally at the hands of “professionals”? Or, will he say, “Enough is enough!”?

  • Stephen Buerger

    Thank you for writing this. Perhaps my information is wrong, but I thought the number was closer to 53 million abortions since Roe v. Wade?

    • AStev

      Right, but not that many would have been voting age this year.

      • Stephen Buerger

        I knew I was overlooking something obvious. Math…

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  • Brian


  • Jesse Janis

    Garret, thanks for writing that out. Thanks for lots of things, and I’m so glad that God has shown mercy to you and your family. We’re in Kansas City now.

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  • Not Alone

    I was nearly 1 of those 33 million voiceless voters :( My mom was also 19 when she got pregnant with me and nearly aborted me, but God!

    I wrote this post about my story on the anniversary of Roe v Wade this past January – It will be 40 years this coming January 22nd… May God have mercy on us!

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  • kenneth

    Great, and thanks for the post. If People only knew!!!!!!!

  • LJ

    Why do you not include the 50-75% of embryos the female body self aborts before it contacts the uterus? Where is the urgency to look into saving those babies?

    • GB

      You’re absolutely right, there is no difference between intentionally killing a child and the child dying because of some physical defect…

    • lsdjr72

      Really? Let’s see… What’s the difference between someone (you pick the age) dying of natural causes or even some physical/mental defect and someone intentionally murdering them… Let’s see if you can figure out the ethical difference between the two LJ.

    • Brian Karlik

      L.J., “Self-abort” really? Proverbs 26:4-5.

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  • Felix

    Well, abortion is a choice so god wouldn’t mess with that. Free will and all.
    How about all of the pregnancies that end in miscarriage? The number is something around 20% (roughly the same rate as abortions). They are not ended by freewill of a human. If the unborn are such a priority to the supreme deity you worship and he/she/it doesn’t do anything about those miscarriages then either there is no god, he/she/it is not all powerful, or he/she/it doesn’t care about the unborn.

  • rh

    This is a powerful article, Garrett. I thank you for sharing a story that must be painful to you. I think your message of solidarity is an important one.

    However, I do not understand the point that you are trying to make. Are you saying that abortion should be illegal? From your article, I was under the impression that you benefited from one when you were young. Unfortunately, there are thousands of young couples and single mothers out there who do not have access to the help that you describe.They are not able to “Investigate options for adoption and invest in the lives of those who are facing difficult choices.”
    You speak from a position of authority because you and your partner once had an abortion, and you regret doing so. Why not limit your message to this point? Why limit the freedoms of young and under-prepared, when you can instead educate them to live more fulfilling lives? While I am not saying that it was the right choice, your abortion clearly helped you out of a tough spot, and you have moved forward with love in your heart.
    If only every couple was as supportive as you and your wife of your unmarried and pregnant friend. Clearly, you saw in her something that you felt in yourself, at 19, and through your compassion, you were able to convince her not to make the same mistake. Maybe some day we can live in that world, where we realize our solidarity with all humans around us. Please, however, consider the possibility of human empathy, and not solely divine intervention. We cannot tell others what God wants for them, instead, we can only help to support them as they listen to his answer.

  • Clay

    Before we call this a tragedy lets imagine a world without women’s reproductive rights. The current numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the unemployment rate at 7.8% equating to 21.1 million Americans out of work. Honestly, how would this country in any way be helped by adding another 35 million people to that number? 35 million additional people out of work, 35 million more kids having been born into poverty or households that couldn’t care for them, 35 million more kids bearing down on the system straining every public assistance program in place to help them. It stands to reason that this country wouldn’t, and in the future won’t, be able to sustain the load.

    • Clay

      The only reason I bothered to comment was the overall tone of the article being “we would have won if not for abortion”. As if to imply that 35 million more people in America directly corresponds to an additional 35 million evangelical Republican votes. Well, at least you didn’t blame the gays…

  • Jake

    I fail to understood why the pro-life movement is never pushing for better social programs for families who cannot afford to raise a child. If they are so against abortion you would think they would be supporting contraception (hint: it prevents the need for abortions) in schools and healthcare.

  • Brian Karlik

    Clay, Go back and re-read the article. You are inserting a “tone” into this opiece that does not exist. The tradgedy is that these 35 million coul dnot vote-period. You seem to be blinded by your own position to properly read and understand this article. Maybe you could get some help in reading comprehension.

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