We Pro-Lifers Must Remain Persistent

Oregon Right to Life


Elections took place in November, and there are a lot of opinions on how abortion and laws about abortion impacted the outcomes. One very discouraging result is the passage of ballot measure 1 in Ohio. The measure enshrines abortion on demand throughout pregnancy in the constitution. Pro-life leaders valiantly organized, raised money and did everything they could to defeat the measure.

I won’t attempt an analysis in my space here, although I have been gathering data and talking to leaders from around the country. One thing we can be sure of is that pro-life leaders in Ohio will not give up or discontinue their work. The word that comes to mind is persistence. 

And that is one of the organizational values of Oregon Right to Life, as well. 

The Oxford Dictionary definition of the word persistence is even more direct: “To continue firmly or obstinately in a state, opinion, purpose or course of action, esp. despite opposition, setback or failure.” Our board of directors further states, “We remain hopeful and optimistic about the influence we can have while we seek change that protects vulnerable innocent human life from fertilization to natural death.”

When we think of the innocent preborn babies whose lives are at risk and all the ramifications of each individual abortion procedure, what other response can we have?

Along with the recent election results, the passing this year of two founding leaders of Oregon Right to Life (Bob Betschart and Audrey Hertel) prompted me to spend some time thinking about the importance of persistence.

While I did not know either founder personally, they each had a profound impact on my daily work, and we all owe them a profound debt of gratitude. Founding a pro-life organization in 1970 was no small undertaking! Four couples saw a need and took it upon themselves to start an organization and lead a movement that has persisted for 53 years – and will continue to do so for many more.

Naturally, pro-lifers will keep experiencing encouraging wins as well as devastating losses, be they political, legal or cultural. The true test will be if we can also be persistent advocates for the vulnerable, innocent Oregonians who cannot advocate for themselves.

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