Like thousands of other Oregonians, Susan Morrison is deeply disappointed that there will be no county fairs this year. Her reasons, however, have nothing to do with the rides, games or concerts one usually finds at her local Lincoln County Fair.
Instead, Morrison is heartbroken that she and her fellow Central Coast chapter members of Oregon Right to Life will not have a chance to interact with fairgoers on the science of the pro-life position. Neither will they have the chance to offer in-person local resources and support to girls and women in crisis pregnancies.
“I really feel that [the fair] is the major way we reach a large number of people,” Morrison says. “People cannot help but walk past and see our displays. It may be the only exposure they get to see the truth about the tragedy of abortion.”
Morrison has been a general co-coordinator of the Central Coast chapter since it was resurrected in 2014. The group often meets in Rosmarie LeDay’s Lincoln City home. The county fair is a hallmark event for the group, whose volunteers work their booth in three-hour shifts.
“We’ve been complimented regularly on how we have the most professional booth there,” says LeDay, a transplant from Washington. “Some people say, ‘My mom was going to have me aborted,’ or that the doctor advised them to abort their daughter, but she’s standing right there.”
The Central Coast chapter’s display features a slideshow with pro-life messages, photos and graphics. A notebook for visitors to share their stories is available. And of course, everyone loves examining and holding the scientifically-accurate fetal and infant models.
The volunteers stay busy handing out pink and blue balloons (“The kids just love those!” says LeDay), pens with local crisis pregnancy center information and pro-life pamphlets.
“I am so sorry to miss this opportunity, especially this fair, because this is an election year,” says Morrison. “I know that our fair booth would have had a huge impact on those who would otherwise go with the flow.”
LeDay knows personally that even in the midst of crisis, the work to save children and families must continue. Before her husband of 51 years died of cancer in 2018, he encouraged LeDay to stay active in the pro-life movement. “I’ll be doing it up until I die in Norman’s honor,” she says. Even and especially when there is no fair.