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Excerpt from "We Begin to Fight," New book by Steve Karlen of 40 Days for Life

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Excerpt from "We Begin to Fight," New book by Steve Karlen of 40 Days for Life

We are starting a new feature here at Theology of Home. We will be posting excerpts from new (and some old) books that we think are worthy of reading. Rather than a review, we think these short looks into actual books will help our readers decide for themselves if this is a book they want to sink their teeth into.

Our first featured book is "We Begin to Fight," by Steve Karlen, the Director of Campaigns at 40 Days for Life. Steve was your average guy, uninterested in the abortion debate, until he was faced with it in his own life.

This is a great book for people who love a great story--something akin to Abby Johnson's story of transformation and hope, but this time, featuring your average sports watching, beer drinking guy.

The paragraph that captures the title and much of what this book is about is tucked into the intro and begins with the author expressing frustration over a failed attempt to ban late-term abortions at a hospital:

Filled with bitterness and more than a little self-pity, I relayed the news to one of my fellow pro-lifers—an old Army chaplain who had been fighting for abortion-vulnerable moms and babies since long before I was even born.
His sharp rebuke caught me by surprise. “Of course, you lost! You haven’t been at this pro-life work very long, have you? This is when we begin to fight!”

So here is the Introduction. Enjoy!


Half of the population is pro-life, but far fewer choose to do something about it. Men, in particular, tend to sit on the sidelines of the abortion controversy. It’s long been an issue that we’ve been told we aren’t entitled to form an opinion on.

“My body, my choice.”

“You can’t get pregnant.”

“No uterus, no opinion.”  

“Another white man telling women what to do with their bodies.”

For most of us, we just think, Why risk being ostracized as  a “misogynist” for standing up for life when it’s far more comfortable to pour a beer, grab a slice of pizza, and sit down to watch the game?

But, for better or for worse, we live at a time when that’s simply not an option. Men can no longer stand on the sidelines and hope for the best for our lives, our families, and our communities. Not when abortion is the leading cause of death not only in our country but also in our world. Not when a million little boys and girls lose their lives to abortion each year in the most prosperous country in the history of civilization. Not when abortion ends more lives worldwide than all other causes of death combined.

A simple look at the numbers proves that abortion isn’t just a political issue. It’s not only a “social issue” (whatever that means). It’s the greatest human rights crisis the world has ever seen.

But ultimately, the women getting abortions are neither numbers nor statistics. They’re our friends. They’re our family members. Our co-workers, neighbors, classmates—even the people we go to church with are having abortions. And every abortion leaves in its wake a devastating trail of heartache and destruction. There is, of course, the baby, whose life is lost. There’s also a mother scarred. A father wounded. Four grandparents who will never hold their grandchild. Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and surviving and future siblings.

Our entire society has been hurt—directly or indirectly—by abortion, and it’s these women, men, and children harmed by abortion who compel us to speak up.

Every active pro-lifer has his or her own reason for standing up in defense of human life. Some had the sanctity of life reinforced at home in a family that made praying in front of an abortion facility a routine part of life. Some had their eyes opened to the horror of abortion by a pro-life sermon at church later in life. Many have had personal experiences with abortion—or saw how abortion wreaked havoc on the life of a loved one. But the common thread all active pro-lifers share is that they took a leap of faith to stand up and serve the least of our brothers and sisters: unborn children and their mothers who are in danger of being victimized by a billion-dollar abortion industry.

We cannot continue to remain silent. We are seeing what happens because of this silence. Abortion shatters relationships, destroys families, and threatens even the very fabric of the communities we live and work in. Decades later, women and men continue to struggle with the trauma caused by a choice that was sold to them as a solution to their problems.

I never expected that agreeing to accompany my wife at my first-ever pro-life vigil was the first step of a journey that would lead to me one day speaking about abortion to fifty thousand people at a time—or rallying prayer warriors in Mexico or leading a fifty-state pro-life bus tour. That’s not an attempt to “humblebrag” because the stories I’ve shared from coast to coast aren’t of my own making. They’re the work of God—I’m just blessed to have had a front-row seat. And if God can use a guy like me to spread the Gospel of Life, He absolutely can use you.

But He needs your “yes” first. And that’s my prayer with this book—to show you that God can take even the most reluctant “yes” and use it to save a life, save a soul, and leave an indelible mark on the world that will have a generational impact.

And, trust me, you’ll still find time for a beer, a slice of pizza, and the game.

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To purchase the book or read more, go to here to the 40 Days for Life site.

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