Fellowship Applications Open for Pro-Life Students

Young people with a passion for the pro-life cause and a desire to strengthen their leadership skills are encouraged to apply for Students for Life of America’s 2021 leadership fellowships. These fellowships educate students about abortion, provide leadership training, and connect promising young people with more established mentors. SPL president Kelsey Hazzard is a graduate of SFLA’s Wilberforce Fellowship for college and graduate students; in fact, she is proud to have been a member of the inaugural class. 

Since then, SFLA has added several fellowship opportunities, including the Stevens Fellowship for high school students. Both Kelsey Hazzard and SPL co-leader Terrisa Bukovinac (who you may also know as the head of Pro-Life San Francisco) have served as Wilberforce and Stevens mentors. Last year, SFLA added the Hildegard Fellowship for young artists. There are also fellowship groups geared toward young men and religious students.

Whichever fellowship program suits you best, be sure to complete your application before the March 31 deadline!

[Photo credit: Students for Life of America]

The Fundamental Question of the Abortion Debate: A Response to Nathan Nobis

Rehumanize International founder Aimee Murphy holds a sign that reads "Human rights start when a human's life begins"

[Today’s guest author is Dr. Steve Jacobs, the Program Director of Illinois Right to Life. He received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and his Ph.D. in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @DrSteveJacobs or contact him at steve@illinoisrighttolife.org.]

In 2019, my research on biologists’ understanding of when life begins gained media attention. [Read SPL’s overview of Dr. Jacobs’s research here.] Not long after, Dr. Nathan Nobis, a philosophy professor of Morehouse College, posted a blog on his abortion advocacy website critiquing my work, and recently Secular Pro-Life asked me to respond to the piece. Here are some of my thoughts.

Dr. Nobis opined that “When does life begin?” and “Are fetuses human?” are “bad,” if not “dumb,” questions. He asserted that those who deny fetuses’ humanity do not believe that “fetuses aren’t biologically human” but “mean that [fetuses] don’t have what are often considered ‘human’ traits, like understanding and feeling and reason and the like.” That might well be the case but, despite quoting my research and linking to my dissertation, he failed to reference the data within that casts doubt on his belief.

We asked hundreds of Americans the following question: “If biologists were asked, ‘From a biological perspective, when does a human’s life begin?,’ what would most biologists select as the point at which a human’s life begins?” Only 23% of pro-choice participants selected fertilization.

They were also asked: “Based on your understanding of biology, from a biological perspective, when does a human’s life begin?” Again, only 23% of pro-choice participants selected fertilization.

Dr. Nobis suggests that people know fetuses are biological humans. Yet when they were directly asked about this issue, most pro-choice Americans suggested our biological lives don’t begin until viability or birth. Similarly, they predicted biologists would not agree that a human’s biological life begins at fertilization.

Many polls and studies have shown that pro-choice and pro-life Americans disagree on when a human’s life begins. In one recent national poll, only 9% of young Democrats said that they believe human life begins at conception, compared to 51% of young Republicans. In my dissertation, I presented numerous linear regression models that reveal views on when life begins to be a stronger predictor of abortion attitudes than gender, religious identity, beliefs about sexual morality, and even one’s political ideology. 

As has been similarly shown by the work and very existence of Secular Pro-Life, the models suggest that a feminist atheist who recognizes a fetus as a human is more likely to support abortion restrictions than an anti-feminist Catholic who believes a human’s life begins at birth. This is so because the humanity of fetuses has been and continues to be the central factor in people’s views on the morality and legality of elective abortion access. 

If a fetus is not a human, then abortion restrictions stop women from having a basic, harmless medical procedure. 

If a fetus is a human, then each abortion kills a human and is a presumptively punishable crime without an affirmative legal defense.

Dr. Nobis and other abortion advocates seek to complicate the issue by moving the goalposts from humanity to personhood. In my research, I found that Americans rejected this distinction, as 93% stated that a human’s life is protectable once it has begun and 96% stated that all humans deserve rights and all humans are equally deserving of rights. Indeed, a legal review of the distinction between “human” and “person,” within the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, made it clear that there is none. 

19th-century U.S. Senators responsible for the passage and ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection to all persons within the United States, and Supreme Court Justices responsible for interpreting the amendment have stated that all humans are persons under the Constitution. In the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, Justices who established abortion as a constitutional right said that if it is shown that fetuses are persons then they would be guaranteed constitutional protections, and abortion rights would collapse. [See SPL post “Why did people laugh during Roe v Wade?”] In the Supreme Court case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, the Court made it clear that if there is not “a fundamental and well-recognized difference between a fetus and a human being” then “the permissibility of terminating the life of the fetus could scarcely be left to the will of the state legislatures” as the Fourteenth Amendment would guarantee fetal rights. The Court does not draw distinctions between humans and persons.

It’s no great mystery why abortion advocates deny or downplay the significance of the question of when a human’s life begins. Equality dictates that all humans equally deserve legal protection, and virtually all criminal codes show that there is no liberty right to kill a human (as the right to life is seen as a higher, more fundamental right since one cannot have liberty without life and since there are fewer exceptions to the right to life than the right to liberty). Thus, establishing a fetus as a human invariably leads to the conclusions that (1) fetuses deserve equal legal protections and equal rights and (2) there cannot be a liberty right to elective abortion. Abortion advocates have known this since the 1970s

When pro-choice Americans were asked what would happen if the biological fact that a human’s life begins at fertilization were to become common knowledge, 90% believed abortion rates would go down and 83% believed that support for legal abortion access would go down. These results suggest that pro-choice Americans realize the question of when a human’s life begins is not a bad or dumb question: it is the fundamental question of the abortion debate. 

[Photo credit: Maria Oswalt on Unsplash]

Virtual Pro-Life Events Tomorrow

The March for Life will not be held in person this year, a first in its decades-long history. The reasons for making that call were sound, and you can watch live as a small group of pro-life leaders symbolically march in place of the hundreds of thousands of people who normally would. Still, it’s a tough environment and we all hope that we will be in Washington, D.C. this time next year.
One of the major benefits of the annual March for Life is networking. It is an opportunity for pro-life people from various states to join in our nation’s capital, learn from one another, and develop new strategies to save babies’ lives from abortion. We are doing our best to replicate that in a virtual setting, with two events tomorrow (all times Eastern).
(1) The Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, traditionally held at Georgetown University, will be held remotely beginning tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Secular Pro-Life appreciates this opportunity to connect with Catholic university students and help them reach their secular classmates with the pro-life message. Stop by our virtual exhibit booth between 12:15 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. and say hello! Registration is required
(2) Tomorrow night from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., we will join our friends at Rehumanize International and other organizations for a virtual game night! Tickets are pay-what-you-want. Each organization will host a game, and Secular Pro-Life has selected Family Feud; you can help by taking this survey in advance. 
We hope to see you soon!
[Photo credit: Chris Montgomery on Unsplash]

Remembering the Victims of Roe v. Wade

Today is the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the brutal Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion and stripped the right to life from unborn children in the United States. 

Despite being the leader of a pro-life organization, I don’t dwell on abortion often. I find the horror of it too paralyzing. I know abortion kills human beings, and I know that killing human beings is wrong—so why not just focus on what I can do to change minds and save lives, here and now? Over 62.5 million lives lost to abortion is impossible to wrap my head around anyway; as the saying goes, one death is a tragedy, while millions is a statistic.

That emotional distance serves me well most days, but those millions of departed children deserve my sustained attention and mourning—especially on the anniversary of the injustice that sanctioned their slaughter. I offer this meditation.

In 1973, a baby boy was secretly aborted. His mother and the abortionist have both passed away. The baby’s memory died with them.

In 1974, a baby was killed in a saline abortion.

In 1975, a baby was aborted in Los Angeles.

In 1976, a teenager aborted her baby because she didn’t want her conservative religious parents to know that she’d been having sex. 

In 1977, a teenager aborted her baby because her parents threatened to kick her out of the house.

In 1978, a baby was aborted because his mother feared losing her job. She did not know that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act would be signed into law just a few months later. 

In 1979, a woman had an abortion; she never learned that she had been carrying twins.

In 1980, a baby girl was aborted because her parents felt they were too young.

In 1981, a baby boy was aborted because his parents felt they were too old.

In 1982, a baby boy was aborted because his father left and his mother lacked support. 

In 1983, a baby was aborted in Chicago.

In 1984, a baby was aborted in Miami.

In 1985, a baby was aborted after a contraceptive failure.

In 1986, a baby boy was aborted after his parents made no effort to use contraceptives.

In 1987, a baby girl was aborted because her mother did not think she could finish college if she gave birth.

In 1988, at the very moment I was born and my parents joyfully welcomed me, another innocent baby girl was torn limb from limb before she had a chance to take her first breath.  

In 1989, a baby was aborted in Nashville.

In 1990, a baby was aborted in New Orleans. 

In 1991, a baby was killed in a dismemberment abortion.

In 1992, a woman had an abortion she deeply regrets.

In 1993, a woman had an abortion and has been “shouting” it ever since. 

In 1994, a woman had an abortion and never spoke of it again.

In 1995, a baby was killed in an aspiration abortion.

In 1996, a baby was aborted in New York City.

In 1997, a baby was aborted in Houston. 

In 1998, a young woman aborted her baby after being assured that “it’s just a clump of cells.” Years later, she conceived a planned child, scheduled her first ultrasound, and was horrified to discover that she had been lied to.

In 1999, a medical resident aborted her baby. She knew the reality of prenatal development full well, but callously disregarded her child’s life.

In 2000, a baby was killed in a partial-birth abortion.

In 2001, a baby girl was aborted. Her body was recovered by pro-life advocates and given a proper burial.

In 2002, a baby boy was aborted and his body was stored in an abortionist’s garage.

In 2003, a baby girl was aborted. Her little broken body was treated as medical waste. 

In 2004, a baby boy was aborted and his body was exploited for laboratory research.

In 2005, a baby boy was conceived in rape due to sex trafficking, and aborted at the insistence of his mother’s pimp. The abortion business looked the other way.

In 2006, a baby was killed in a chemical abortion.

In 2007, a baby girl was aborted because her parents wanted a boy.

In 2008, a baby boy was aborted because his parents wanted a girl.

In 2009, a baby girl was killed in a “selective reduction” abortion. She had the bad luck of being the easier target for the abortionist to reach. Her twin sister survives, living with the vague sense that something is missing. 

In 2010, a baby was aborted in Phoenix.

In 2011, a baby was aborted in Charlotte.

In 2012, a baby was aborted and the abortionist was paid with state taxpayer funds. 

In 2013, a baby was aborted and the abortionist was paid by a private “charitable” abortion fund.

In 2014, a baby was aborted after he was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome.

In 2015, a baby was aborted at a Planned Parenthood.

In 2016, a baby was aborted at an independent abortion business. 

In 2017, the baby of a teenage immigrant in a government-run shelter was killed after the ACLU went to court to strike down the shelter’s anti-abortion policy. 

In 2018, a baby was aborted in Memphis.

In 2019, a baby was aborted in San Francisco.

In 2020, a baby was aborted after her parents lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and feared that they could not afford to raise a child.

Today, a baby is scheduled to die in your town. 

Image credit: 6-week ultrasound provided by a Secular Pro-Life supporter.

Bring it on, President Biden

Today, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America, and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as Vice President. Pro-life advocates are bracing for a hostile four years, as abortion industry interests dominate Washington, D.C.

Since the Supreme Court’s brutal and unjust decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, there have been many ups and downs, victories and defeats, and constant shifts in the balance of power. But some things never change.

Human life still begins at fertilization.

All human beings are still worthy of protection from violence.

Abortion is still the violent act of killing a human being.

Abortion is still a matter of life and death, not a mere religious issue or political debate. 

The cause of life still attracts millions of dedicated people of every faith and none, from diverse backgrounds.

Pro-life Americans still have the truth on our side. 

Social and legal change takes time. To put our struggle in context, Roe v. Wade will be 48 years old on Friday; we remember that it took 58 years for the Supreme Court to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson and reject “separate but equal” racism. The pro-life movement is in it for the long haul. 

We will continue to save as many babies as we can, while we strive for the day that the right to life is restored. No matter who is in the White House, no matter who is in Congress, no matter who is on the Supreme Court, no matter who dismisses and mocks us, we aren’t going anywhere

We Asked, You Answered: What Pro-Life Things Would You Do With A Lottery Jackpot?

With both the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots at unusual highs ($730 million and $850 million, respectively, as of this writing), we wanted to know: what kind of pro-life work would you do if you won the lottery? Here are a few of your ideas.

Reming M.—Start a secular pregnancy center and/or shelter for families. Then throw money at all the whole life/secular/pro-life organizations I like. I’d be like Oprah, “you get a million dollars, you get a million dollars, everyone gets a million dollars!”

Ginnie P.—I already am making plans and preparations for a mobile midwifery clinic. I’d have a whole clinic van fleet staffed!

Samantha T.—Start a foundation to help with basic living expenses for single mothers so they don’t have to stay with abusers or family members who may try to force them to abort or to just help them get on their feet. And also fund scholarships so they can go to college or trade school.

Herb G.—Create and fund a pregnant person’s bail fund. 

Kristin M.—I’ve thought about this a lot. I would buy myself a house, give myself a salary to hold me for the rest of my life and put that away in savings, and then literally spend the rest on the non-stereotypical pro-life non-profit organizations such as Secular Pro-Life while seeing if I can volunteer more in my free time too.

$100 bills

Adam P.—I would buy all the billboard space in and around the top 30 most populous cities in America for a year and advertise for local pregnancy centers and pro-life groups, or just general pro-life messages.

Sophie T.—Pay for a chain of pro-life, nonreligious maternity homes and shelters for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Fund pro-life/CLE orgs that I like. I’d also like to pay for a storytelling project for women who were coerced into abortions, because I feel like it happens more frequently than most people think, with factors like financial support and emotional manipulation. I’d also like to do what Let Them Live does: meet the immediate physical or financial needs of pregnant women so the pressure eases.
Gabriella B.—I would create a company focusing specifically on changing the culture. It would produce movies, TV shows, documentaries, music, publish novels, make clothes, make food, and even commission art work that promoted the pro-life message in some way.
And finally, in a case of great minds thinking alike…

Jessica B.—I would start an alternative to Planned Parenthood that offers all the things except abortion; would try to partner with existing places that are close to the same if possible to lower overhead.

Laura P.—Start Unplanned Parenthood ® where we do everything that PP does (and more) sans abortion. I mean, UP does sound a lot better than PP anyway.

It’s clear that an amazing amount of good would come from a pro-life winner. Best of luck!

P.S.—Secular Pro-Life does not take a position on the morality or wisdom of state-run lotteries; we were just being topical. If you struggle with compulsive gambling, we encourage you to seek help.

P.P.S.—We asked a similar question in October 2018, when the jackpot was over a billion dollars. Our social media following has grown a lot in the past two years! Here’s what folks had to say back then

Pro-Life Perspectives on Abortion-Tainted Vaccines: Part 2

Editor’s Note: Many readers have asked us about the ethics of receiving vaccines that were developed in part by exploiting the bodies of abortion victims. In part 1, guest author Stacy Trasancos outlined factors to be considered in confronting this dilemma. In this article, Secular Pro-Life president Kelsey Hazzard offers her thoughts.

In 1951, Henrietta Lacks went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, complaining of a “knot” in her womb. Mrs. Lacks had a difficult life. She grew up in poverty and worked in tobacco fields from childhood. She gave birth to her first child when she was just 14 years old. She had a total of five children, including a developmentally disabled daughter who tragically died as a teenager. On top of all that, Henrietta Lacks was Black in the era of Jim Crow; Johns Hopkins was the only area hospital that would treat her. Johns Hopkins gave her a devastating diagnosis: cervical cancer. 

Without her knowledge or consent, Johns Hopkins took a sample of Henrietta Lacks’ cancerous cells and gave it to a researcher, Dr. George Otto Gey. He then used the sample to create a cell line known as HeLa, taken from the first two letters of her first and last names. Due to its unusually high replication rate, the HeLa line became ubiquitous in medical research and remains so to this day. According to Wikipedia, nearly 11,000 patents involve HeLa.

Henrietta Lacks’ cancer metastasized, and she died at the age of 31. Her family had no idea until decades later that her cells lived on and were generating profits for white-dominated medical industries. Researchers even made the HeLa DNA sequence public, jeopardizing her descendants’ privacy. By modern standards, the origin of HeLa is wildly unethical. And while general protocols for obtaining patient consent have improved, Black women continue to face alarming discrimination from medical providers—especially when it comes to reproductive care. 

Does accepting a HeLa-connected medical treatment signal approval of this manifestly wrong state of affairs? Does it encourage further maltreatment of Black patients and their families? Should those 11,000 products be pulled from the market in the name of racial justice, even if doing so costs lives? I humbly suggest that the answer is no, and that the same logic should apply to vaccines and other medical products which are connected to the injustice of abortion. 

According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the two COVID-19 vaccines that are currently in use (by Pfizer and Moderna) do not use fetal cell lines in their production. However, Pfizer and Moderna have used some fetal cell lines for related laboratory tests, e.g. vaccine quality control. At Public Discourse, Nicanor Austriaco explains the origins of three popular fetal cell lines: 

WI-38 cells were derived from cells obtained from a 12-week old fetal lung taken from an aborted fetus in the early 1960s; MRC5 cells were derived from cells taken from the 14-week old fetal lung of an aborted fetus in 1966; and HEK293 cells were isolated from cells taken from a fetal kidney of unknown gestational age in 1973.

Though HEK293 is commonly believed to have been obtained from an aborted human fetus, I received an e-mail a few months ago from Professor Frank Graham, who established this cell line. He tells me that to the best of his knowledge, the exact origin of the HEK293 fetal cells is unclear. They could have come from either a spontaneous miscarriage or an elective abortion. Regardless, the abortions that gave rise to the three cell lines—or in the possible case of HEK293, the miscarriage—happened decades ago.

In my view, taking a COVID-19 vaccine cannot be reasonably interpreted as an endorsement of those two or three historical abortions, let alone the continuing travesty of abortion today—just as using a HeLa-derived treatment is not an endorsement of how Henrietta Lacks was treated or of current racial inequities. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 does not encourage more abortions. Babies are not being killed to produce more vaccine doses. 

On the other side of the equation, the benefits of vaccination are substantial. This is particularly the case if you fall within some of the categories Stacy Trasancos mentioned, such as being a healthcare worker or living with an immunocompromised person; your vaccination could be directly life-saving. But even for those who are not at high risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, vaccination could save lives indirectly by creating herd immunity and allowing the economy to reopen sooner.

This could even save babies from abortion. We know that nearly three quarters of abortions are motivated by financial distress, and there is solid (albeit anecdotal) evidence that the pandemic and related lockdowns have led more pregnant mothers to choose death. The sooner we can get the coronavirus under control, the better.

I do wish that a vaccine with zero fetal cell line involvement were available. If it were, I would certainly choose it over the current options. But I cannot justify getting there via a boycott while COVID deaths continue to climb.

Photo credit: CDC on Unsplash

Pro-Life Perspectives on Abortion-Tainted Vaccines: Part 1

Editor’s Note: Many readers have asked us about the ethics of receiving vaccines that were developed in part by exploiting the bodies of abortion victims. In this post, guest author Stacy Trasancos outlines factors to be considered in confronting this dilemma. In part 2, coming Friday, Secular Pro-Life president Kelsey Hazzard will offer her thoughts.

There is a logical angst that goes with being pro-life in a country where abortion is legal. In the United States, an estimated 3,000 unborn children are killed in abortion clinics daily. A pro-life person might wonder why she is not running into those buildings and demanding that it all stop, the same way she would fight like hell if two-year-old toddlers were being systematically killed by an industry. Yet, Americans live in a pluralistic society where almost half the population thinks it is acceptable for a mother to kill the unwanted child in her womb. Pro-life advocates know they must find peaceful ways to cause change, so their reality is that merely living daily life in a country with legal abortion feels like manifest hypocrisy. 

Nothing, however, brings that cognitive dissonance home like making a decision about using a vaccine whose existence depends on the use of cell lines derived from an aborted child. Instead of wondering about abstract laws and clinics in another part of town, the choice impacts the pro-life advocate individually. Our own health, our immediate families, and our communities are affected by the decision we make. 

One might wonder, then, can you be pro-life and receive an abortion-tainted vaccine? If doing so is not, itself, inherently immoral, such as making the decision to murder someone, then the decision becomes a matter of informed conscience. 

This is called discernment. Think of it like an equation. There are variables that go into the decision, and each variable has different coefficients and powers. In the calculus, the factors that affect your decision will be weighted differently depending on your specific circumstances during any given period. The good news is we have the freedom to think and make choices. The bad news is that discernment is not easy when the decision is complex. At times, it can be heart wrenching. 

The person making the decision about vaccines is not at fault, in the moment, for the fact that he or she may be presented with only vaccines produced using fetal cell lines and no other alternative. She did not ask to be in this position. She never consented to the abortion that occurred, no matter how long ago or far away it happened. She is simply trying to keep herself, her family, and her community safe, which is a good intention. The weight applied to these variables differs. 

Health. Are you already immunocompromised? Are you elderly? Are you at risk? Is someone in your family at risk? Or is it likely that you would tolerate the virus well? Do you have access to medicines to alleviate the duration of the viral infection? 

Vocation. Are you a caregiver? Are you a medical professional or healthcare worker? Do you work in close contact with a lot of people? Does your family depend on you to go to work? Could you lose your job for refusing to be vaccinated?

Location. Do you live in a place where the virus is already rampant? Can you effectively maintain social distancing measures? Can you move about with a mask and six feet distance between you and everyone else not in your bubble? Do you live in the country or the city?

Timing. Can you wait for an ethically produced vaccine? Are there ethically produced vaccines coming? Will you have access to ethically produced vaccines where you live? Do your local health care providers work to gain access to ethical vaccines?

Impact. There can many more variables, but there is one I want to argue that pro-lifers should weight heavily. I propose that we seriously consider how our choice will affect the community and nation. 

A person making a decision about using an abortion-tainted vaccine may not be at fault for the immediate set of options in the moment, but every person’s choice does impact the market, and therefore affects the decisions of industries, university researchers, and government agencies going forward, however small. 

Each choice to use or not use a single dose of a vaccine is a vote. 

“Yes, I will accept a benefit even though it depends on the use of an aborted child.” 

“No, even if it makes my life more difficult, I will not accept this vaccine.” 

We cannot draw an imaginary boundary around ourselves either temporally or spatially. About half of Americans consider themselves pro-life, which is about 164 million people. It is, therefore, an objective and mathematical fact that if even a quarter of those people (41 million) demanded the availability of ethically produced vaccines with no connection to any aborted fetal cell line in development or production, then the scientific, academic, industrial, and governmental communities would be compelled to accommodate that stand. In time, if even a smaller fraction of the pro-life community refused such vaccines, ethically produced vaccines (and other medicines) would appear in the market. 

In this sense, pro-life advocates do share some remote responsibility in the choices available to us. If we know the stakes that factor into our decision now, then we know those decisions will affect the future situation. And, true to the adage that ignorance is bliss, we cannot excuse our obligation as pro-lifers to make choices that build a more just civilization for the children of today. 

We may not be able to storm into an abortion clinic and shout a protest to save those babies being killed by abortion. Some of us may legitimately need an available vaccine for safety. But we can — and should — choose to accept some risk and discomfort if at all possible when faced with an abortion-tainted vaccine. 

Stacy Trasancos has a PhD in chemistry and was senior research chemist at DuPont. She has an MA in dogmatic theology and is now chief research officer for Children of God for Life and executive director of St. Philip Institute for Bishop Joseph Strickland in Tyler, TX. Stacy has seven children and six grandchildren.

Photo credit: CDC on Unsplash

Our March for Life Plans (Updated)

UPDATE, JANUARY 15: The March for Life has cancelled the in-person event. The information for Friday, January 29 is no longer accurate. The Democrats for Life of America rally will not happen either. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Every January for the past 46 years, pro-life Americans have gathered lawfully and peacefully in Washington, D.C. to protest the travesty of Roe v. Wade. After last week’s siege of the Capitol building, we believe it is more important than ever to demonstrate what a non-violent and life-affirming movement looks like. COVID-19 will make things a bit different in 2021 (read: social distancing and no indoor events), but we are committed to safely making a stand for children in the womb. We hope you will participate, whether you in person or virtually.

Like everything else this year, the following schedule is subject to change. Please subscribe to our emails for the latest updates. 

Ongoing through January 23: Midwest “Moving the Movement” Tour and Diaper Drive

As we’ve previously written, the March for Life Chicago is adapting to COVID-19 with a series of smaller parking lot and road rallies throughout the Midwest. (They’re partnering with local radio stations so people can listen to pro-life speakers from their cars; how cool is that?) Secular Pro-Life is pleased to co-sponsor the tour. Events have already taken place in Madison, WI; Des Moines, IA; and Omaha, NE. The next stops on the tour are Fort Wayne, IN (January 16); Mundelein, IL (January 17); Indianapolis, IN (January 22); and of course, Chicago, IL (January 23). At the Chicago stop, check your goodie bag for a treat from Secular Pro-Life! NOTE: Registration is strongly encouraged.

The tour organizers are also collecting diapers for families in need at each location, with a goal of 130,094—one for every baby annually aborted in the Midwest. Whether or not you live in the Midwest or are able to participate in the tour, we encourage you to contribute online

Friday, January 29: The March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Prior to the March, we will join Democrats for Life of America for a socially distanced outdoor rally at 1000 Jefferson Drive SW. (Look for our 14-foot-tall, bright blue banner; you can’t miss it!) SPL president Kelsey Hazzard will speak about what the Democratic Party could do to appeal to pro-life independents like herself. For those who cannot attend, we will do our best to live-stream it, or at the very least post a video after the fact.

While supplies last, we will be distributing FREE masks and signs featuring our classic slogan “Call me an extremist, but I think dismemberment is wrong.” We could use another volunteer or two to help with the distribution; if you’re interested, please email info@secularprolife.org. 

From there, we will march to the Supreme Court building. The March for Life will offer live coverage for supporters participating remotely.

Saturday, January 30 (day): Virtual Pro-Life Student Conference

The Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, traditionally held at Georgetown University, is going remote this year. Secular Pro-Life appreciates this opportunity to connect with Catholic university students and help them reach their secular classmates with the pro-life message. Stop by our virtual exhibit booth and say hello! Registration is required

Saturday, January 30 (evening): Virtual Game Night Fundraiser

Sadly, our traditional karaoke fundraiser is not possible during the pandemic. Instead, we are partnering with Rehumanize International for a virtual game night! The event begins at 7:30 p.m. EST and tickets are the excellent price of whatever donation you wish to make. 

Pro-Life Art Contest Submissions Open

Create | Encounter, a project by our friends at Rehumanize International, is once again seeking submissions of artwork in any media (poetry, prose, painting, sculpture, music, you name it) that explores themes related to the value of human life. Abortion-related works are common, but since Rehumanize International is multi-issue, submissions concerning other forms of aggressive violence (including war, human trafficking, and abuse) are also welcome.

Click here for the full submission guidelines, and get creative! The contest will close on February 20, with winners announced on March 5. Then, on March 27, Rehumanize will host a “virtual afternoon of the arts” to display the winning works! Tickets are pay-what-you-want and available here
[Photo credit: Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash]