In the midst of the summer’s heated campaigns, shootings, and social unrest, there is a peaceful, lifesaving activity happening around the state: Oregon Right to Life Education Foundation’s fair booths.
Over the summer, ORTLEF has hosted booths in 30 local county fairs and other events. These booths draw large crowds, the preponderance whom are teens and children. They love to handle the beautiful fetal models and listen to the heartbeat of the six-week old unborn baby on our old-fashioned telephone. (Many of these children have never even seen a rotary phone!)
Every year at one fair or another, a young woman will come up to thank the fair volunteers for being there a previous year when she was contemplating an abortion. The stories are always the same: after viewing our models and hearing the heartbeat, they changed their minds and chose life for their babies. Often they have the baby in arm, proudly displaying the love of their life. Last year, one young woman came up with a six-year old, telling the same story of when she came by our booth seven years ago.
Mothers love to show their children how little they used to be when they were in “mommy’s tummy.” Teen boys come by and ask, “What’s the big deal about abortion?” They find out and go away changed. Teen girls are fascinated looking at and holding the fetal models. Sometimes a future pregnancy will be saved because of what they saw.
How do we know these fairs are saving lives? Just look at the numbers: in 1995, abortions in Oregon were at an all-time high of 14,612. In 2014, they came to an all-time low in 2014 of 8,231. To be certain, there are many pro-life factors for this good news: pregnancy support centers, 40 Days for Life, and the good works of pro-lifers across the state. However thousands of Oregonians stopping by to view the truth about the unborn child at our statewide Educations fair booths every year has to be considered a huge factor in this downward trend. For skeptics, there is further proof: not only have the numbers declined, but the percentage of pregnant woman who choose abortion has dropped equally dramatically.
I give many thanks to the volunteers who put up, take down, and man the booths for the many days each booth is up. Their time and effort is saving babies!