Written by Crystal Kupper, Life in Oregon Editor
I blinked in confusion, trying to digest what I had just read: “Arizona is one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”
As a native Oregonian who moved to Arizona in 2020, I was naturally curious about the abortion-related laws in my new state. What I found left me gobsmacked — because unlike Oregon, which has no restrictions on abortion whatsoever, Arizona boasts plenty. After spending 22 years in the Beaver State, even a moderate pro-life law was a shock to my system.
I always knew in my childhood that pro-lifers in my home state were fighting an uphill battle. I naturally expected most Oregonians to disagree with my pro-life stance and was rarely disappointed. Even as a child, I knew and felt that I was in the political minority.
So, to suddenly be in a sunny place with commonsense restrictions on abortion — and where, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s latest research, women get fewer abortions per 1,000 than their Oregonian counterparts — has been welcomingly refreshing.
And yet, after three years in the Grand Canyon state, I’ve noticed something else: the pro-lifers in Arizona, in my opinion, are not nearly as passionate and well-organized as those in Oregon. When you’re “winning,” why not coast to victory, right?
But Oregonian pro-lifers have reasons to be scrappy. We’re in a very hostile environment; the state government hasn’t agreed with us in well, forever; “abortion tourism” is becoming its own industry. Oregon Right to Life knows those realities, and yet we keep fighting, making a tangible difference to tens of thousands of families since our founding over 50 years ago.
When people who are heavily involved in the pro-life industry find out about my employer, a common response is, “Wow, Oregon Right to Life! You guys are top tier.” At first, it baffled me, but now I understand.
We Oregonians have far more battle experience in the pro-life arena than most other states. Instead of being beaten down, our advocacy muscles are hardened and toned. We’ve already been fighting for the long haul, so why would we tire now?