My first memorable contact with the pro-life movement was going to some sort of rally around 9 years old. It was at our state capital and all I can really remember are the graphic pictures.
Fast forward to 2011 when I went to the Walk for Life West Coast and BAM. That fall I started working for Live Action, and the rest, you could say, is history. At first, learning about the injustice of abortion made me incredulous and sad. How could people think it’s okay? Who would do such a thing? So I did things like self-righteously post something on Planned Parenthood’s Facebook page. And then I would argue with the people who did things like call me a lesbian nun (yes, that was a real comment – my favorite insult!)
Now, four years later, I don’t think about it the same way. So here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Being pro-life isn’t all about babies.
Statistically speaking, abortion has wiped out more lives than any other single tragic event/disease/etc in human history. That’s a pretty big deal. But the fact is that babies aren’t given life if their moms don’t choose to give it to them. So you have to reach the woman first. You have to genuinely love her, because let’s be real:
So please avoid fetus tunnel vision at all costs.
2. Sometimes being pro-life makes life hard
When couples receive the news their baby will most likely not live long after birth, many would like to take the “easy” route by having an abortion and “trying again”. But couples like Trevor and Hayley show us that making a hard choice that respects the life of people like their daughter Veyda may be hard, but it is always worth it.
3. Working in the pro-life movement is inherently sacrificial
Want to stand out in bone-chilling cold praying for people you’ve never met? Is having people remove themselves from your life a thrilling possibility? Does being yelled and cussed at sound like your cup of tea? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you just might be called to get involved in pro-life work!
On a more serious note, making your mission to defend other people makes a lot of people grow in humility and love for others. Why? Because we’re not the ones being aborted. The majority of people who do pro-life work do it for other people. Some people have personal stories that drove them to do pro-life work, but other people like me not so much. I do it because I care about people. And you know what I’ve found? That saying “You find yourself by losing yourself in service to others” is spot on. If more people got involved in pro-life work we would lose a lot of the selfishness in the world.
4. We don’t agree on everything, but we can all agree on one thing
LGBT pro-life group? Secular pro-life group? Great. We agree about life. That’s what we’re here for. If you want to grab some coffee and chat other issues, great. But when we do pro-life work, we’ve got to be able to work together toward a common goal without letting our differences divide us.
5. Being pro-life means ALL life at ALL stages
Consistency is key, or being pro-life doesn’t make sense. We have to always be pro-life, even when it comes to issues that don’t involve smiling babies. Take, for example: euthanasia, death penalty, the porn industry, and human trafficking. Let’s talk about the over-sexualization of people in the media too. There are so many issues dealing with human dignity that we have to be careful to not limit the pro-life movement by putting it in a tiny box labeled “abortion”. It’s so much more.
6. Love conquers all
Ultimately, we do what we do because we are called to love our brothers and sisters. We see a hurt world suffering at the hands of evil. But we have hope because love is stronger than death. Love has already conquered evil on the cross, and it’s our job now to show we the world that “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song”.
Like many things in life, being active in the pro-life movement is not easy. But it’s worth it. It has challenged me, pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and givens me so many reasons to have hope for our world. It is raising up a generation of soldiers for truth.
It’s been 4 years now doing this crazy stuff, and I look forward to the many years to come. As I attempt to use my life to show the world the beauty and dignity of every human person, may we work together tirelessly in this movement. After all, when people look back on history and how we dealt with threats to the dignity of life, what side do you want to say you were on? Did you stand by the sidelines and watch? Or did you do something?
It’s up to you.