What Does Proactive Pro-Life Leadership Look Like?

Good leadership is heavy on my mind as I write this. I just attended the funeral of pro-life champion and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. I heard many speak of his selfless and effective service. His passing reminded me that Oregon desperately needs his kind of leadership at all levels of government.

Leaders like Dennis are proactive in identifying and meeting needs. An article on this page talks about how we had to push back when Planned Parenthood found a void to fill in local schools. It was an instructive experience. In Oregon, lack of good leadership creates opportunities for the abortion industry to “solve” problems. What if pro-life leaders had proactively closed the gaps that let Planned Parenthood in?

When people ask me what a city councilor or school board member can do to protect life, I try to encourage them to think about the benefits of proactive leadership. Local officials with a passion for service can find needs and plug holes before someone with a nefarious agenda does. Yes, it may be rare for a “pro-life” issue to come before a city council, school board, or county commission. This might often be the case because the problem has already been “solved” for good or ill before it was raised to the attention of the elected body.

Our organization’s mission is to reestablish the legal protection of innocent life from conception to natural death. For that to happen, our movement must be holistic. Pro-life advocates must be leaders who show the world what a pro-life society can be, from A to Z. That means solving the foster care crisis. It means providing resources to help women choosing life. We may not all agree how the plethora of issues beyond abortion should be solved. That’s okay. Let’s start with the knowledge that a proactive pro-life leader stands the best chance of solving Oregon’s toughest challenges.

We are saddened at Dennis’ passing and are indebted to him for his leadership and service. But there is hope for the future. I see fresh leaders with great potential run for office each year. Many of them reach elected office. Many are in the Oregon Legislature and others are serving in local government. These people are passionate about not accepting the status quo. The time is now to proactively build a post-abortion Oregon where pro-life voices solve the problems we face.

Thinking about running for office? Join us at Together We Advocate (see page 8) for a workshop led by former candidates and officials who will help you answer the question: What would it take to run for office?


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