How to get involved in the pro-life movement
Recently, a draft majority opinion was leaked from within the Supreme Court of the United States, indicating that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision which legalized abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy, may be overturned in the coming weeks. If Roe is overturned, the issue of abortion will be returned to state legislatures to decide whether to ban, restrict or enhance access to abortion within each state. Those of us who are pro-life and oppose legalized abortion could be tempted to think that our work is done if access to abortion is no longer enshrined in federal law, but in truth, our work to protect human life is, and will be, as important as ever. Women will still find themselves in situations where abortion is an attractive option for a variety of reasons and we must be prepared to stand in the gap and offer love, support and resources to empower them to choose life instead of abortion. If you have never taken an active role in the pro-life movement, there is arguably no better time than the present to become involved. Check out the list below for some ideas for how to get started.
1. Volunteer at a pregnancy resource center
Pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) are located in communities around the world and offer a variety of services and material resources. PRCs offer confidential pregnancy options such as counseling, free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, parenting classes, and material assistance (like diapers, clothes, formula, etc.) to clients whose child or children are two and under. Some PRCs are expanding to become medical clinics that can offer prenatal care, STD/STI testing, and more. The staff and volunteers at PRCs are sometimes the only listening ear a woman has in an unplanned pregnancy, and they quickly become her confidants and cheerleaders. If Roe is overturned, these pregnancy centers will see an influx of clients needing assistance. There is likely a PRC in your community, so contact them to ask how you can help. Whether assisting with clerical work, sorting baby supply donations, answering phones and making appointments, or mowing their lawn, there are a variety of ways to give your time and talent to help a PRC.
2. Pray or become a sidewalk advocate outside an abortion facility
Although potentially daunting if you have never done so before, prayer and witnessing outside an abortion facility is a powerful experience. Proverbs 24:11 asks “Did you fail to rescue those who were being dragged off to death, those tottering, those near death, because you said, ‘We didn’t know about it’?”. Standing as a peaceful, prayerful witness outside of an abortion facility is a tangible way we can respond to this Proverbs verse. Furthermore, our presence as prayerful witnesses outside of abortion facilities has been known to move the hearts of women with abortion appointments, encouraging them to reject abortion and choose life. If you’re nervous or unsure how to get started, find your nearest 40 Days for Life campaign and they’ll show you the ropes. If you feel so called, you can also become trained as a sidewalk advocate and speak to the women and men entering the facility, offering them resources and hope. Sidewalk Advocates for Life is a great organization that specializes in training people as sidewalk advocates, so check out their website to find training near you.
3. Advocate for life-affirming resources in your community
When public spaces are accommodating and friendly toward pregnant women and women with very young children, this sends a message that they and their children are welcome and not seen as a burden. As you notice opportunities arise to advocate for life-affirming resources in your town or community, do so! Whether dedicating parking spots near the front of the lot for pregnant moms or creating lactation rooms and changing tables in public bathrooms, resources like these create a culture that embraces life. If these types of resources are not available or being considered in your community, approach your city council and introduce these initiatives! If you have a college or university in your community, check with the campus pro-life club about helping these resources be put in place on campus too. Standing With You can help get you started promoting these resources in your city.
4. Lobby for pro-life policy
Even if Roe is overturned, each state must determine the level of access to abortion within the state. Some states will completely ban abortion, some will restrict abortion after a certain point in pregnancy, while other states, like New York and California, will allow abortion at any time and for any reason. Regardless of what state you live in, pro-life laws will likely still be considered in your state legislature for years to come. For example, I live in Texas where abortion will be banned in a post-Roe America, but the pro-life movement will be working to pass laws ensuring that district attorneys enforce a state-wide abortion ban in the major cities and to increase social services for pregnant and post-partum women and their children. Use your voice in your state capitol to lobby your legislators to pass pro-life laws like these! If you’re not already, contact your state pro-life group that is active in policy and ask to shadow them in the capitol and learn to lobby (if you’re in Texas, reach out to us at Texas Right to Life to get plugged in).
5. Give sacrificially
Last but not least, if you don’t have the time to give to the endeavors mentioned above, prayerfully consider giving financially to your local pregnancy resource center, maternity home, or pro-life organization. With or without legal abortion, the work of these groups must continue, but they can only do their life-saving work through generous donations. Consider adding a PRC or group of choice into your tithing budget.
Choosing any of the above ways to get involved in the pro-life cause will make a positive impact on women, children and families in need and in crisis. Do you have other ideas to support pro-life efforts? Reach out and let us know!