Launch is Oregon Right to Life’s annual spring training and retreat for young pro-lifers in the Beaver State. Attendees ages 16 to 21 learn best practices in pro-life advocacy through nationally-recognized speakers, workshops, field trips and fellowship. This year, Launch will be held March 26-29, 2023 at the Macleay Retreat Center in Salem.
Launch graduates often continue to wider pro-life advocacy. That was the case for Marcos Sanchez, a Mt. Angel native who attended the event in 2016. Today, he is an emergency room nurse.
“Launch was the starting point for my pro-life advocacy. I found it very helpful as it provided answers to all my questions and gave me the courage and knowledge to spread the pro-life message to others,” he says. “Launch’s value is immeasurable. I met other passionate young people who shared the same passion as I did. I learned about how I can make a difference by making abortion illegal and unthinkable using science and philosophy.”
Since Launch, Sanchez has sidewalk-counseled at Planned Parenthood, led two pro-life student groups, traveled around the U.S. and Australia spreading the pro-life message, met former vice president Mike Pence and sued his college for infringing his freedom of speech. He could do these things in large part, he says, because of what he learned at Launch.
“The most helpful part of Launch was hearing how to clearly, confidently and concisely converse with pro-abortion supporters,” he says. “Before going, I wasn’t solid in my own beliefs, let alone having the confidence to tell others why they too should take a stance on abortion and protect the most vulnerable.”
Other young people like him can and should do the same through Launch, Sanchez agrees.
“Roe v Wade returned the abortion debate back to the states,” he says. “It is now more important than ever that young Oregonians become educated and impassioned about the abortion topic.”