by Jacob Baugher
With the March For Life going fully virtual this year, for the very first time, many pro-life advocates are unsure of how to make their voices heard. The March has been a fixture in the pro-life movement since 1974. While its impetus was a reaction against Roe v. Wade, it now represents for some pro-life advocates a broader commitment to the Consistent Life Ethic.
I’ve put together a list of ways you can make your voice heard this winter while staying safe and protecting your fellow human family.
1. Call or write to your local representative
There is no nationally maintained list of the contact information for letters or calls to congresspeople. The American Psychological Association, however, maintains this service to help activists find and write to their congressperson based on zip codes. Both the House and Senate websites also maintain a “search” function which provides links to the personal websites of your representatives. Many list their contact information at the bottom of their page.
While it can sometimes feel like writing to congress is screaming loudly into the void, it is an important part of our political discourse and should not be overlooked.
2. Volunteer at your local pregnancy center/women’s shelter/food bank/homeless shelter.
I mentioned earlier the Consistent Life Ethic (CLE). We are better when we advocate for total life issues alongside abortion: euthanasia, homelessness, addiction, capital punishment, and racism to name only a few. The biggest critique of the Movement from the other side is that it is “Pro-Birth” and not “Whole Life.” Advocating for the CLE pushes back against this false messaging.
Target your activism. Consider giving your local organizations a call and asking what they need. Then organize a virtual fundraiser/blanket drive, bottle drive, etc with your church or local community. Be sure to observe local COVID ordinances. It’s pro-life to take care of your fellow humans by masking and social distancing.
3. Write to someone on death row
Sister Helen Prejean published a great article about how to write to persons on death row and incarcerated persons with some helpful do’s and don’ts. Remember to follow the guidelines for letters and emails set forth by the prison of the inmate you wish to contact — these usually can be found on the prison’s website.
4. Donate the money you would have put toward travel to your favorite pro-life organization.
EWTN, a Catholic news organization, maintains this list of both religious and secular pro-life organizations. A list of specifically anti-death penalty groups can be found at executinggrace.org. Be sure to do some research into the organization that you choose to support if you’re concerned about their alignment with your political or religious beliefs.
5. Social Media Activism
Share a post from an abortion survivor, an article interviewing a prisoner on death row, a refugee, or a person of color who has experienced racism. Add your voice to the conversation by focusing on encounter, not judgement. Often, the “real change” that is inspired by social media posts does not stem from the post itself, but from the overall tone and spirit by which the activist shares their experiences. Be prepared to receive and respond to messages with love and understanding.
6. Further your education around the Consistent Life Ethic.
The best armament an activist has is their knowledge of both their subject and the other side. Take a deep dive into both pro-life and pro-choice literature — learn how they both approach these issues to better encourage meaningful discussion with your friends and relatives.
Reading the other side’s philosophy may be triggering to some, but if you can manage it, it will provide an insight into the pro-choice worldview. All good conversations must come from a place of understanding, not just attempts to educate.
7. Introspection/ Sharing your own inspired artistic creation
Set aside time to write out what it means to you to be pro-life. If you’re artistically inclined, create a piece of art, poetry, or media that illustrates why the issue is important to you. Often, as activists, we focus on talking points and political ramifications, but art is, perhaps, an even more powerful tool for communication. Art reveals a cause’s humanity.
Editor’s note: Rehumanize is currently accepting submissions for our annual art contest, Create | Encounter! Consider submitting any pro-life art you create.