“I ask you to join with me arm in arm.” This message concluded my post-election email. (I’ve included it below in case you didn’t receive it.) We have weathered plenty of disappointments together in the pro-life movement. We will weather those of this election as well.
Someone asked me recently what my vision is for Oregon Right to Life? At first, I was puzzled because we already have a well-defined mission statement and thought-provoking motto. She pressed and said that a vision is something larger. Okay, I thought that makes sense. So here is what I responded with: the vision of Oregon Right to Life is to create a culture in Oregon that advocates and supports life-saving, life-affirming and life-sustaining decisions.
This vision is bigger than ORTL! All through the year individuals and groups work toward this vision in their own unique way – pregnancy centers, Respect Life groups, churches, 40 Days for Life campaigns and sidewalk advocates, Life Chains, individuals that provide care, meals, and supplies to pregnant women and new mothers, and volunteers who bring comfort to those at the end of life or company to the elderly who live alone. We work together arm in arm in a metaphorical way.
In January, there is an opportunity for us to stand together arm in arm literally right in the center of Oregon’s largest city at the Roe v. Wade Memorial and March. During this event, we remember the nearly 61 million lives that have been lost to legal abortion since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. We also draw inspiration from each other to carry on until it is unnecessary.
Join us on Saturday, January 19th at 2:30 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
In case you missed it, here is my email that followed the election:
While last night’s results were not entirely a surprise to us, the disappointment is real. The pro-abortion majority in the Oregon Legislature has increased to a supermajority in both houses. Measure 106 suffered a devastating loss after the No campaign outspent the Yes campaign by an overwhelming ratio.
Oregon is uniquely challenged because it is a stronghold for the abortion industry. With the SCOTUS potentially reversing Roe v. Wade in the future, states with few to no restrictions (like Oregon) are increasingly targeted. Millions of dollars poured into pro-abortion candidates’ coffers to fund their campaigns.
Against these odds, you and other pro-life voters still made a tremendous difference. We held most of the pro-life seats in the Oregon Legislature, including in several races where the candidate ran for the first time. Other significant victories were had, including by my friend and our former political director, Colm Willis, in his race for Marion County Commissioner (position 2).
What do we do now? We continue in our advocacy. We keep educating our communities. We keep working to help Oregon’s foster care and adoption systems. We keep standing on sidewalks in peaceful protest. We keep marching in Portland (January 19, 2019!).
For us, the Capitol has always been uphill ground to bring about culture change. Despite that, our abortion rates are still at record lows and teen parents are choosing life more than ever before. To be sure, the 2019 legislative session will be difficult. We are not afraid of the difficulty.