Inclusivity in the Pro-Life Movement: From Our President

Sharolyn Smith

Melody Durrett
ORTL President

I can’t think of a better time as pro-lifers to renew our commitment to life-issues unity than the recent election of politicians who have built careers around advancing pro-choice policies. The idea that innocent human life should be protected is one that anyone can agree with, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs. 

While our movement is an inclusive one, I humbly suggest we should stretch further, beyond our comfort zones, to include those with different worldviews or political beliefs. Thoughtful and well-meaning people can genuinely disagree on many issues. Those disagreements do not need to divide us as a pro-life movement. 

Nearly four years ago, I posted a picture of a man holding a sign at the San Francisco Walk for Life. It read, “Gay, Feminist and Pro Life.” I wrote then that it is crucial to understand that being pro-life doesn’t mean you subscribe to any ideological system besides one that advocates for the normalization of non-violent choices. I believe that even more strongly now. 

We want to overturn Roe v. Wade and transform our culture into one that supports life. To do so, we need all kinds of people in every sector of society leading and participating in the pro-life movement. Our movement is better, stronger and more influential when we all stand together. 

As we start to see pro-choice policies being pushed at the federal level, I want to remind and challenge pro-life advocates to seek common ground with others. After all, we each have a role in our work to create a culture committed to the protection of human life. The way forward is not to focus on our differences, but to unite with others in agreement with the hopeful message that all humans have inherent value and are worthy of protection. 


  1. I agree that we are stronger and more influential together. The right to life is very sacred. We who have life must fight to preserve life.
    In Jesus Christ of Nazareth is Life and His Life is the Light of mankind.
    We need this Light to guide us out of darkness.

  2. I applaud this article! The movement needs to expand, especially to pro-life Democrats. Some studies have shown 25% of Democrats are pro-life, like myself! But we are hesitant to join the pro-life movement, as it seems to be a way of electing Republicans. Republicans need to stop cutting food stamps and assistance to poor women; it only furthers the stereotype that “life begins at conception, and ends at birth.” Robust assistance to impoverished mothers is a way to expand the movement beyond the confines of GOP politics. The movement needs to be more non-partisan, otherwise you won’t get the crossover. Let’s shake things up and get Democrats and Republicans together in this fight for life!

  3. While I agree with Mr. Fitzgerald, above, I respectfully suggest taking a step further and not mentioning, or focusing upon, party designations at all. Some Republicans want to cut food stamps, others don’t; some Democrats support abortion, others don’t. The party labels are not helpful and encourage division. People are generally much more nuanced than the political parties they oblong to. Mr. Fitzgerald is absolutely correct in suggesting that we pro-life people need to focus on our common ground, which is what ORTL President Durrett suggested in her remarks, above. No labels. Reach out to others and seek common ground on this defining defining moral issue of our time.

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