‘50 Million Names’ is a grassroots campaign to collect names for the now-more-than 50,000,000 children aborted in our country. Naming these children helps heal the wounds of family members, abortionists, and of our nation. Honoring them acknowledges the reality of their short lives, and connects Namers to their prayer intentions – for their mothers, fathers, siblings and family members, and for the abortionists and witnesses who are now intimately connected with these babies.
Violence is not the end of the story! These children exist, and the fact that they are real, unique, unrepeatable, and present before the throne of God gives us joy. We have great hope that we can join in their prayers, do real good for those connected with them even through violence, and peacefully contribute to a culture of life for our country’s welfare. The gestures given in the names of these children will be a legacy of love that demonstrates our belief in the significance of every human person.
We ask Namers to record every name they give, and to accompany and then add names in a way that shows reverence for the lives of the aborted babies.
Our Story – from Charlotte Ostermann, founder
50 Million Names began with a number. When the abortion toll reached 50,000,000 I was pierced by awareness that I could not even begin to imagine a number that large, much less embrace that number of souls in my own heart with the love each deserved. I wished there were some way each child could be named, loved, prayed for…acknowledged as a unique human being instead of a statistic.
A name is the beginning of dignity.
Later, when my son Timothy died in the womb, I discovered the healing power of naming a lost child – for the mother, for the family. Many women came to console me and shared that their own miscarriages had gone unremarked, and the babies unnamed. That’s just the way it was done ‘back in the day’. But it wasn’t a good way! They came to cry with me and left with the awareness of their own pain, and their own need to acknowledge and name those precious children of their own. Another chapter in the story of 50 Million Names was written.
A name is the beginning of healing.
Next, I heard Mother Teresa say we would never end abortion until we identified with the victims. I pondered that in my heart, with anguish for the babies themselves. The more I thought of them, wanting to bear some of their victimhood for them, the more I sensed their own longing for the pain of certain others. I realized that these children, now present before the throne of God, care deeply for the relatives who lost them, and even for the abortionists who killed them. My identification with these victims took a new and hopeful turn.
A name is the beginning of blessing.
Thinking only of the violence of the abortion itself, it was hard not to feel despair about the damage that has been done to families, to our country, to the world. But as I began to think of the prayers of the babies, I realized that God himself would be teaching them to pray for blessings even for those who had cursed and killed them! I felt a new lightness of heart as I began to identify with the desire to bless these hurting people for the sake of the very babies themselves. I saw that violence, sad as it is, creates an intimate relationship between one who harms and one who is victimized. This relationship is not one we would wish on anyone, but once it is established, that perpetrator better watch out! Because now they are linked to a person who, if he follows God’s instructions, will be begging that he be blessed.
A name is the beginning of relationship.
God gives back ‘the hundredfold’, and a shower of blessing (unless his heart is changed and he cries out for mercy) may feel like hot coals heaped upon the head of one who is prayed for in this way. But God’s desire, the baby’s desire, my desire is to bless and bring healing and reconciliation to those who are surely still suffering the effects of the harm they have done, or that has been done despite their objections.
So, we set up a website to allow people to register names. Now, the website seems extraneous, and we focus on just asking people to give names on their own. We wanted to know them all, and keep hold of their stories, but after 15,000+ names realized that is unrealistic. These babies will be held in thousands of Namers’ hearts and prayers, and that is enough.
Please name one or more of these orphaned children. Pray for their relatives and abortionists. Offer a concrete gesture (here are some ideas) to honor each child, and bless the world in his name. Let others know about the 50 Million Names Project. Thank you!
A name is the beginning of 50 Million Names!