Melody Durrett, ORTL president

Written by Melody Durrett, ORTL president 

As a 16-year-old freshman at my community college in 2012, I had recently attended Launch (Oregon Right to Life’s pro-life training camp for youth ages 16 to 21). Because of that experience, I was fired up and ready to save lives! This kind of youthful optimism, worn by pro-life people of any age, is a great credit to the progress of the pro-life movement. 

A common goal for the pro-life movement back then, repeated often by leaders, was to “abolish Roe v. Wade in my lifetime.” I can’t emphasize enough how outlandish and gimmicky this sounded to me at the time. The more years’ distance I have from that time period in my life, however, makes me realize that outlandish and unrealistic goals are exactly what a successful social movement hinges on. 

Dobbs v. Jackson is a huge stride forward and has saved countless lives across a large swath of the United States. Still, we all know overturning Roe v. Wade was just one tangible step toward creating a culture that truly supports life. This life must be full of options so rich for women that abortion, revealed for its true brutality, would be unthinkable.

I know that even writing about the goal to have a culture where abortion is unthinkable, people will scoff that it is a utopian pipe dream. But I believe it is not. 

No culture has people who all believe the same things (thankfully). I don’t believe we can have a culture where everyone is pro-life. Yet as surely as we have a culture where abortion is considered “health care” and abortion is taught to kids in school as “nothing more than removing some cells,” I know the reverse can be true, too.

With school starting up again and amazing pro-life students standing counter-culturally to the pro-abortion messages, it’s time for us all to renew our youthful optimism for our “outlandish” goal of making abortion unthinkable. 

Let’s join in creating pro-life communities and come alongside students and young people in our lives and initiate gracious conversations about tough life topics. Let’s acknowledge the faults and failures of our movement, and the hard, messy and painful parts that come with choosing life, insisting to everyone who will listen that LIFE is worth all of it. 

For those interested in Launch, see


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