After her show-stopping performance during this month's Republican presidential debate, Carly Fiorina is now polling number two among all Republican presidential candidates, but what within the debate actually caused such a sudden rise? 

If you ask me, it’s simple. 

Mrs. Fiorina was clearly most powerful when she demanded that President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sit and watch the disgusting Planned Parenthood videos that have broken the heart of America this summer.

You should not misunderstand my appreciation for Mrs. Fiorina’s courage as an endorsement of her presidential campaign, or infer that I appreciate any of her opponents any less, but  - unquestionably – her way of talking about the unborn is the key to capturing the heart of evangelicals.

I wish more pastors in America spoke as boldly in their pulpits about the unborn as Carly Fiorina did at her podium. For it is time to rise up in courage, and to call to account those who’ve allowed the body parts of children to be sold and traded like car parts.

Fiorina’s meteoric rise is yet another reminder that America remains a deeply religious country that is enraged over the total disregard for human life we have witnessed in our abort-at-will culture, and it’s exhibit A that when a candidate like Fiorina stands passionately for the unborn we will stand passionately with them.

It’s not just what she believes or what she said that captured the attention of America’s evangelicals, but it was how she said it.  She was clear, articulate and compelling.

She clearly wasn’t speaking from talking points handed to her by policy advisors. She wasn’t saying it because it was the right thing to say.  She was saying it because there was a fire inside of her soul. She spoke more like a prophet than a politician, and she spoke with the fierceness of a mother looking after her own children. 

She spoke authentically, honestly, powerfully. She personified convictional leadership.

This passing moment held a startlingly different tone – a catalytic one --  and America is rewarding Fiorina for it.

Our nation has aborted at least 57 million babies. Stop and think about that: a single Supreme Court decision has cost the lives of 57 million Americans. That is the equivalent of destroying the entire populations of California and New York. 

Now is not a time for politicians and pastors to concede one inch on the “life issue.” On the contrary, we have perhaps never seen the kind of national outrage over abortion as we are witnessing today, and many of us believe again that we might finally see the end of this national shame.  Just the other day, I was speaking to an audience of young evangelicals, and I challenged them to stand strongly on this issue for they could be the generation to finally see the end of abortion. I told them “it would be one of America’s finest hours.”  When I said it, they didn’t have skepticism in their eyes. They believed it.

Science has now fully caught up with theology, and those who continue to argue that life does not begin at the beginning are finding themselves looking more and more “on the wrong side of history.”

I wish more pastors in America spoke as boldly in their pulpits about the unborn as Carly Fiorina did at her podium.

For it is time to rise up in courage, and to call to account those who’ve allowed the body parts of children to be sold and traded like car parts.

As the elected president of America’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, there’s at least one thing I know about our 51,000 churches and congregations, which represent millions of committed Christians – they will award leaders - and even politicians - that authentically and passionately value the life of the unborn.

As I pray daily about who I will decide to support in 2016, what I do know is that no one needs to come knocking if they are not willing to boldly, authentically declare the value of life from the womb to the tomb.

For, perhaps, our next president will have the privilege of putting a nail in the abortion’s coffin.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd is Senior Pastor, Cross Church and President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Follow him on Twitter@ronniefloyd. Follow the Southern Baptist Convention@sbctoday