Thursday, July 11, 2013

my take-away's from the National Right to Life Convention

Again, I have to say a huge Thank You to those who supported me financially and prayed for me (and Eli) while I was in Texas for the convention. Without your support, I would not have been able to go. And I would not have learned what I needed to learn and experienced what I needed to experience.

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The convention was 3 days. You can see my photo re-cap from the weekend here. The days were structured the same every day. We had a general session in the morning with a few different speakers. Some were big names (Governor Perry, Senator Ted Cruz, Lt Gov David Dewhurst, Carter Snead, Wesley Smith) and some were board members, directors, or members of the National Right to Life Convention. All were encouraging and educational. In the afternoons we broke off into workshops. There were 3, 4 or 5 a day. And the topics ranged from how to raise money, to the history of Planned Parenthood, to the science of fetal pain, to personality types. Again, all were so encouraging and very educational and helpful.

I have pages and pages of notes from all the speakers and workshops, but don't worry, I won't share all of it with you. We'd be here for days. Instead I thought I'd share my major take-away's from the weekend:

the pro-life movement is on fire
If you pay attention to social media, which I'm sure you do since you're reading a blog, than you may be aware of what is going on in Texas right now. Or even North Carolina or Ohio. Pro-life laws are being passed across this country at an unprecedented rate. People are standing up for the right to life and they are urging their legislators to do the same.

I was so encouraged by the variety of people who attended the convention. There were a lot of young people. In fact, at the same that our convention was taking place, the National Teens for Life Convention was also going on. How awesome is that? That gives me hope.

In one of the workshops I attended, the speaker made the point that my generation (late 20's, early 30's) is polled as more pro-life than our parents. And one major reason for that is the decade long partial-birth abortion debate of the late 1990's, early 2000's. We were teenagers at the time. We were developing our moral compasses, our sense of right and wrong. Because we were exposed to a national debate about abortion, a lot of us decided then that it is wrong. That is exactly the time that I started to take notice and care enough to want to do something. And this brings me to my next point:

as pro-lifers, we welcome a national debate over abortion. we want the debate
Abortion is such a controversial topic that I think most people would just rather not talk about it or think about it at all. Believe me, I don't want to talk about abortion. It's heartbreaking. It's devastating. It's not fun to talk about. But I have to. When you stop and truly consider what it is and what it's implications are, you cannot be quiet about it until it's gone.

But because of that, I think some people would just be more comfortable if it never came up at all. And I think some people are afraid of the debate that follows. Okay, most people are afraid of the debate that follows.

But, we don't have to be afraid because truth is on our side. Science is on our side. The facts are on our side. Love and compassion are on our side. And dare I say it, God is on our side. Because really, we're on His side fighting for His truth to be known and recognized in the hearts of all men.

So when states are working to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts and all of a sudden the country has erupted over what is going on in state capitals, that is a good thing! Because, whenever there is a national conversation about abortion, it gets people thinking. It gets them curious and interested. And then when they begin to see the facts, their hearts and minds are changed. And the polls swing further right.

And when hearts and minds change, that leads to policy change. And that leads me to the next point:

what if there was a pro-abortion reversal of roe v wade?
I have been reading Wesley Smith's blog for yeeeeaaars. He is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And he makes me think about other life issues besides abortion (embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning, environmentalism, animal rights activism and the list goes on and on). To be honest, him being a speaker was one of the major reasons I wanted to attend the NRLC. And I am so glad I was able to hear him speak.

Of the many brilliant and thought-provoking issues he discussed, one point I had never even thought about, but I can absolutely see it as a reality, is a pro-abortion reversal of roe v wade on the grounds of equality. As it stands, Roe v Wade was determined based on privacy. Somehow, the justices were able to find a "right to privacy" in the due process clause of the 14th amendment. But, as I have written about before, many pro-aborts advocate for abortion based on the grounds that without it, women are not equal. If this were argued before the Supreme Court, and if Justice Kennedy could be convinced, Roe v Wade could potentially be reversed, making all abortion again legal across the United States. All restrictions, regulations and pro-life laws that have been enacted since 1973 would be struck down and abortion would, once again, be legal from the day of conception until birth for any and all reasons. "Abortion on demand without apology."

That is a scary notion. And that is something we need to be reminded of as we fight battle after battle. We fight against an ideology that is based on an absolute lie. Women are not unequal to men. We are very equal to men. We're just different. Good different. We have the ability and privilege of bearing children and nurturing life. To the pro-aborts, they are fighting a civil rights battle for women, at the expense of the unborn. But we are fighting a civil rights battle for the unborn child. Because it is that child who has been denied his or her unalienable right to life. And together, we can change that. So on to my next point:

grassroots is where it's at
Things are only going to change at a national level when we are working at a local level. Let's face it, the pro-life movement is not very rich. In fact, we are outspent by the pro-aborts by huge margins. But, we have the numbers. We have the passion. We have the voice of the people. And we have people who are willing to work tirelessly to get things done.

One of the workshop speakers made the point that our grassroots groups within our communities are like "little platoons, working to enact change and betterment." We are working to educate and persuade our peers, our neighbors, our colleagues, our fellow students. People in your community are more easily persuaded by someone else in their community than by someone on the TV, or twitter or the radio. So use that to your advantage! Talk with your friends and neighbors. And above all else, pray for your community.

States and local governments are the laboratories of ideas. There is always so much focus on national politics. But the truth is, what happens in your city and your state ultimately affects the nation. Just look at Texas. What they are doing right now to protect babies in the womb, 20 weeks and older, is having an incredible impact on the country. People are talking about it. And Texas will be the 10th state to enact such a law. States are taking the lead on ending abortion and I could not be more excited to be involved in the process.

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With all that said, I am ready to get going here in Nevada. For those of you who don't know, I recently took on the position of director of Nevadans for Life, which is the southern Nevada affiliate-chapter of Nevada Right to Life. I was blessed to meet several of the NV Right to Life people at the convention. They are awesome. I cannot wait to work with them to change the culture of this state and this country. It's time. Let's do this!


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