January 22 is a tough day for me as I am sure it is for many – another memorial, another anniversary, babies still being killed and the nagging internal debate over whether I am doing enough. Recently, I re-read a speech given by Richard John Neuhaus. Richard John Neuhaus is the founder and was the editor of the Journal First Things until his death in 2009. He is the author of many books including The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America. Charles Colson and Neuhaus were friends and were leaders in bringing cooperation and unity between Catholics and Evangelicals especially in the public square and the pro-life cause. To say that Neuhaus was influential is an understatement. If you have not read any of his works, start with this speech. http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/01/we-shall-not-weary-we-shall-not-rest
In this speech Neuhaus recalls the moment he knew he was recruited to the cause. He recounts the moment powerfully and then he asks his audience which was all of us who labor together in this cause.
Perhaps you, too, can specify such a moment when you knew you were recruited. At that moment you could have said, “Yes, it’s terrible that in this country alone 4,000 innocent children are killed every day, but then so many terrible things are happening in the world. Am I my infant brother’s keeper? Am I my infant sister’s keeper?” You could have said that, but you didn’t. . . . That horror, that betrayal, would not let you go. You knew, you knew there and then, that you were recruited to contend for the culture of life, and that you were recruited for the duration.
Do you remember your moment? It was refreshing for me to remember mine. It was when I first came to work at Oregon Right to Life. Of course, I was pro-life and had worked on campaigns and as legislative staff. I knew how to organize volunteers for everything from stuffing parties to lawn sign installation, how to read a bill and craft a response to a constituent. But there was so much I needed to learn. Among the articles I was given to get up to speed, there was one describing an abortion procedure called the D&X or as we commonly know it now the partial-birth abortion. I had never seen anything so horrible. This was my recruitment moment. From then on, every time I tried to do something else or felt the pull of a more prestigious, better paying political job, it felt wrong.
It has been more than 20 years since that moment and every year the numbers of babies killed by abortion gets larger. Honestly, it’s difficult and heartbreaking, but I am recruited for the duration, are you? Neuhaus concludes: “The journey has been long, and there are miles and miles to go. . . until every human being created in the image and likeness of God is protected in law and cared for in life, we shall not weary, we shall not rest. And, in this the great human rights struggle of our time and all times, we shall overcome.”
Unborn Babies Feel Pain Just Like You and Me
Pro-Life legislators in Oregon will be introducing a state version of the Pain Capable Unborn Infant Protection Act. See page for an update on the Federal bill. You can help spread the word about this important legislation and continue the education of Oregonians of the humanity of unborn children by talking about this bill.
Key reasons why we need this bill in Oregon:
- It has been scientifically proven that unborn children feel pain as early as 20 weeks after fertilization.
- There is on average over 250 abortions performed every year in Oregon on unborn children who are at least 20 weeks old.
- The procedure used to abort an unborn child 20 weeks old is called Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Sharp-edged instruments are used to grasp, twist, and tear the baby’s body into pieces. This continues until the child’s entire body is removed from the womb. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy describes this procedure saying, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”
You can share this information through email, social media, in person, or in any number of creative ways. For a full fact sheet and research, contact our office.
Tools of the Trade
Everyone needs the right tools to do a good job. Passing legislation is a complex and delicately balanced craft, but it cannot be done in isolation. At least in the US and in Oregon, a politician cannot lock themselves up in an office and come out later with a fully implemented law! Neither can the Oregon Right to Life team that works at the Capitol. You are needed to do your part. We can’t do your job for you, but we can provide you with the right tools. Our website is updated and ready for you. Click on Action Center and you can see Federal and State Legislation that relates to life issues. You will see our current action alerts and be able to easily contact your State and Federal representatives.
If you do not have internet access you can still do your part. Please call Oregon Right to Life. We can help you with contact information, bill numbers and key facts that will prepare you to speak out for our most vulnerable citizens.
 Roland Brusseau, Developing Consciousness: Fetal Anesthesia and Analgesia, 191
 Center for Health Statistics, Oregon Vital Statics Annual Report Volume 1, Section 3. Induced Terminations of Pregnancy Table 3-4
 Stenberg v. Carhart, 350 U.S. 914, 958-59 (2000)(Kennedy, J., dissenting).