As I write, a heavy layer of smoke is covering the sky above the Oregon Right to Life office. The impact of wildfires is reaching across Oregon. The loss of life and property is weighing heavily on my heart. My daughter, who is attending college in Virginia, called to check on us. She was feeling so helpless as friends and loved ones were dealing with the quickly-moving fires. My daughter also realized her beloved hiking spots would be starkly different when she returns. She would feel better, she said, if she could do something.
Human beings have a great capacity for service and self-sacrifice. It is happening around us every day but certainly is highlighted during crises. Firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, and other first responders demonstrated it by moving in (at great danger to themselves) to get as many people out as possible. My friends and many others exemplified it when they, on their own time, worked to quickly provide physical needs and emotional comfort. Many neighbors also displayed it when they, without a second thought, hooked up their horse trailers and helped evacuate animals.
Our capacity for service and self-sacrifice is also the way we will succeed in our efforts to end abortion. As a pro-life community, we value all human life. We have chosen to apply this value by focusing our efforts to compassionately care for women who face unsupported pregnancies, for unborn children — and to change laws and re-establish legal protections for many vulnerable humans.
This idea may be controversial, but I don’t think it is out of line for people to point out this is our responsibility. Just as my friends and neighbors inspired me and my family to greater service, let us be the leaders, the first responders in our families and communities for our state’s most vulnerable.