In Reforming Our Movement, Reforming Our Culture: How Canadian Pro-Lifers Can Make Abortion Unthinkable in the 21st Century, we analyze the state of abortion in Canada and the Canadian pro-life movement. We then put forth a strategy for ultimately making abortion unthinkable in our lifetime. We encourage all serious-minded pro-lifers to read the EndtheKilling document and help us make abortion history.
How Pro-Life Community Groups Can Help Make Abortion Unthinkable
Anyone who wants to stop injustice should be willing to learn from those who fought it in the past. This means local pro-life groups must study the trials and triumphs of people and movements who endured persecution and made deep sacrifices in order to overcome hatred and injustice. By doing so, you will better prepare yourself to combat the modern-day injustice of abortion.
Here are some suggested films to get you started:
- Amazing Grace (about the abolition of slavery in Great Britain)
- Beyond the Gates (a.k.a. Shooting Dogs) (about the Rwandan genocide)
- End of the Spear (about missionaries who reach out to an indigenous Ecuadorian tribe defined by revenge killing)
- Eyes on the Prize (about the American Civil Rights Movement)
- Freedom Writers (about a high school class suffering racism, violence, and institutional prejudice)
- Gandhi (about the leader of India’s non-violent movement against British colonial rule)
- Hiding Place, The (about one family’s heroic effort to save Jews during the Holocaust)
- Hotel Rwanda (about one man’s struggle to save lives during the Rwandan genocide)
- Iron Jawed Angels (about the American suffragette Alice Paul and her colleagues who fought for the right for women to vote)
- Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, The (about the murder of a black youth in the 1950s’ American South)
The effectiveness of any pro-life activity depends on how well pro-lifers understand the abortion debate. While many are against abortion, substantially fewer have reasons for their position, and fewer still are able to explain those reasons to others. As a result, many pro-lifers have no conviction about their position and take no action to stop it. Others who attempt to take action are often disregarded by abortion supporters as having unfounded opinions. To increase your community group’s conviction and to improve your ability to discuss the issue of abortion more broadly, you must first improve your knowledge. Therefore, contact CCBR to arrange a speaker to do pro-life apologetics training, debates, strategy presentations, or motivational talks. In the meantime, we encourage you educate yourselves by these means:
- Watch the 2-minute video, Unmasking "Choice". It is imperative that you allow yourself to confront the full horror faced daily by pre-born babies—as Gregg Cunningham says, "If we can’t face [abortion], we can’t fight it."
- Read the resources on CCBR’s website, particularly the section "Pro-Life Classroom".
- Watch our training videos which go through the pro-life arguments.
- Read Pro-Life 101, by Scott Klusendorf.
- Read The Unaborted Socrates, by Peter Kreeft.
Provide local pro-lifers with literature they can share with others (e.g., CCBR’s "Unmasking ‘Choice’" pamphlet or "Is Abortion Genocide?" pamphlet, or "Choice" cards, or "Silent No More Awareness" business cards). Then encourage them to strategically place one of these on bathroom counters and on bus benches, as well as in telephone-booth phone books, waiting rooms, and other areas the public frequent. The person who discovers it a few minutes, hours, or days later may need that information to be convicted to choose life for her pre-born child. Even if someone discards the information, he or she will have first seen or read it before doing so.
For young teens and children, this activity can be adapted as follows: include an introductory letter with the pamphlet and present them to people in person. When a 9-year-old contacted CCBR about how he could stop abortion, CCBR recommended the following:
Write a letter explaining how you became concerned about abortion. Begin with, "Dear sir or madame, my name is __________ and I’m ___ years old. This letter may seem a little odd but I want to share something with you. I’m really bothered by something and I want to make a difference. And I’m hoping that what I share with you will make that difference. If it does, maybe you’d consider passing it on..." Then go on to explain why you're so concerned about abortion, what motivated you, etc.
Next, put it in an envelope with an Unmasking "Choice" pamphlet. Then, when you’re out with your family, etc, find someone to give it to. For example, if your mom is buying groceries, when you’re leaving you could go to the cashier and say, "I have something for you to read later on when you have some time to reflect on what’s inside."
People are far less likely to turn down young children. This is where the young have the ability to move others in a way that older people don’t. When the recipients of these letters go home at night and find those letters in their pockets or purses, they will remember that young person who gave it to them. They won’t feel threatened as they might if an older person were to have given it to them. Not only will what you say and show to them move in their hearts, but their recollection of an innocent child delivering the message will as well.
As Galadriel says to Frodo in the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."
Contact local churches and start campaigns with them where their church-goers are encouraged to "tithe" a portion of their car by placing a bumper sticker on it. The more cars driving in your community with life-saving messages, the bigger the impact. And bumper stickers do save lives. Consider these testimonies:
I. Hello, This might be very weird, but I wanted to thank you. I’m not sure what you believe in, but I’m a strong believer in God, and right now I am 17 and pregnant. And on my way to school one day, I was really wondering what to do—I was really thinking about abortion, because I was scared. As that thought came to mind, I walked past your car, and happened to look over and saw your bumper sticker, "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart." My heart dropped. I believe God was talking to me, through that sticker, and I also believe I will never think about it again. I’m going to keep my baby, and I’m not that scared anymore. Thank you so much for helping me make the best choice of my life. God bless. —A very happy mother-to-be. i
II. I always wanted to tell you my ‘pro-life bumper sticker’ story. When I first found out that I was pregnant I was in complete shock. I was so afraid of an uncertain future with a baby and of the major changes he or she would bring to my life that, although I was raised in such a pro-life family and never believed in abortion, the thought of having one did run through my mind for a while. It’s funny how actually being in the situation can make you start to seriously doubt your beliefs.
I am sad to say that I had almost completely fooled myself into thinking that if I just did it quickly enough, I could forget about the whole thing and everything would be back to normal. I had decided it would be the easiest option. I told my doctor that I wasn’t going to have the baby and he gave me a number to a clinic to make my appointment.
That night I was driving to work and was stopped behind a blue minivan. On it was a bumper sticker with a quote by Mother Theresa. It said, "It is a poverty that a child must die so that you may live how you want." The minute I read it, I burst into tears. I knew that was a message sent for me. I knew that the pain and guilt of having an abortion would have been a million times worse than any fear I might have about bringing a baby into my life.
From that moment on I was excited to be pregnant and knew that it was going to be fine. [My child]... is the greatest thing that ever happened to me and I am so happy he is here!! ii
To order the Mother Teresa bumper sticker, go here.
To order an unmaskingchoice.ca bumper sticker, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other bumper stickers, go to www.abortionno.org/Store/stickers.html
Work with local pro-life people and churches, encouraging individuals to wear pro-life pins and t-shirts, particularly on a specific day:
"Precious Feet" pins are the size of a pre-born child's feet 10 weeks (some versions are 12 weeks) after conception and are a great way to initiate a discussion about the rapid growth of the pre-born and about abortion. These can be ordered here.
Pro-life t-shirts are another way to stimulate a discussion with strangers or people you know. These can be ordered at www.abort73.com/gear/shirts.
Be pro-active about this: initiate an abortion debate. For example, if you read a story in the newspaper about a "hit and run" where a dog was killed and there is public outrage, write a letter asking why there isn’t public outrage about the babies killed every day in abortion clinics.
If you read a report about sex-selection abortions, write a letter pointing out that abortion for any reason is bad. Regardless of one’s motivation (e.g., wanting a male child or wanting to finish university), a human being is still killed.
Have a team of pro-lifers on standby that you e-mail, requesting letters, when these debates are happening so that the pro-life voice is heard from many.
When the media covers abortion and/or the pro-life movement in a fair way, be sure to thank them for that. When they report in a biased manner, be sure to provide constructive criticism, and try to give examples, where possible, of how they covered a similar issue in a different and more fair way.
Encourage religious leaders in your communities to be spiritual leaders in the fight against abortion.
Religious leaders have a particular responsibility to be a meaningful witness against evil and to exhort their faith communities to do the same. CCBR has identified several ways that churches can act to stop abortion. Direct religious leaders to "How Churches Can Help Make Abortion Unthinkable."
CCBR staff work full-time to stop abortion because of a simple challenge made by pro-life leader Gregg Cunningham. He said, to paraphrase,
There are more people working full-time to kill babies than there are working full-time to save them. Moreover, the people who work to kill babies are professionals—they are doctors, lawyers, and politicians. Whereas the people who work to save babies are well-meaning but are often part-time volunteers and simply don’t have as much time to devote. The question we need to ask is this: Are we more committed to saving lives than our opponents are in taking them?
The pro-life movement will not succeed unless more Canadians are willing to make stopping abortion their professional career. Though this takes a lot of work and sacrifice, the good news is local pro-life groups do not have to do any of this alone. We at CCBR have already laid much of the groundwork for your local pro-life organization and are willing to help you make abortion unthinkable in your community.
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