Launch, Oregon Right to Life’s annual training for young pro-life advocates, takes off on Sunday, March 21 and runs through Wednesday, March 24 at Macleay Conference & Retreat Center in Salem.
Once known as Camp Joshua, ORTL rebranded the annual training for 16- to 21-year-olds in 2018. With a new name, logo and speakers, Launch helps Oregonian high school and college students to deepen their pro-life knowledge and skillsets.
Hannah Anderson, a Keizer native and current junior at Liberty University in Virginia, attended Launch in 2019. Though she previously completed other pro-life training, it was Launch that caught her attention.
“Launch did a really good job of equipping attendees with the hard, scientific facts of embryology, coupled with the confidence to approach people with compassionate and informed dialogue,” Anderson says. “It was an incredibly comprehensive program and very much the ‘launching’ point of my most effective pro-life advocacy.”
Though based in Oregon, Launch features some of the nation’s brightest pro-life minds, including Equals Rights Institute founder Josh Brahm. Best known for his civil, common-sense approach to conversations about abortion, Brahm not only teaches his techniques but gives students a half-day to practice in the “real world” alongside him. The opportunity gives students the chance and courage to speak up in a loving, scientifically-informed and effective way.
“I was able to talk to anyone about the abortion issue after Launch, and I don’t think that’s something I would have been able to do beforehand,” says Anderson. “A lot of people yell at each other on social media, but we have the opportunity to stand out by gaining confidence and the practical skills to talk to people.”
Additional speakers often cover topics like euthanasia, post-abortion recovery and meeting with state legislators. It all adds up to a can’t-miss event, Anderson says.
“We want to emphasize to young Oregonians that they do not have to wait to be leaders in this movement,” she says. “I really think we have the opportunity to overturn Roe in our lifetimes, and Launch is a really good stepping stone for anyone who wants to be involved.”The cost for Launch is $200 and covers lodging and meals. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register, check out ortl.org/launch.