Together We Advocate Never Disappoints

As President of the Oregon Right to Life Education Foundation (ORTLEF), I encourage you to educate yourself about pro-life issues by attending the annual Together We Advocate conference each March. I always learn so much and enjoy the opportunity to connect with pro-life advocates from around the state and beyond.  

The keynote speakers were amazing this year. I have long been a fan of Wesley Smith, a humble, gracious man who has been defending life for decades. He teamed up with Alex Schadenberg from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition to give a joint talk highlighting the evils of euthanasia. 

It was interesting listening to their opening session, “Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.” Smith and Schadenberg highlighted how forecasted changes and warnings concerning assisted suicide have now come to pass, and that the downward slide in respect for the sanctity of human life continues unabated. Euthanasia, they summarized, corrupts our culture. 

Steve Wagner, the Executive Director of Justice For All, gave a great talk about finding common ground with our pro-abortion counterparts. He explained the importance of being relational first, then intellectual. It’s essential to find commonalities with those holding opposing views before jumping into an intellectual debate. Pausing, listening and silence can go a long way in helping change another person’s perspective. 

The only problem I see at the conference is deciding which of the many workshops to attend; there are just so many good ones to choose from! 

For instance, in the final workshop session, there were four great choices: “Danger in the Scientific Sandbox” with Wesley Smith; “Engaging Your Church in the Pro-Life Movement” with Brick Lantz, MD.; “Three Skills to Keep Abortion Conversations Productive” with Stephen Wagner; and “It’s Simple: Adoption Saves Lives” with Luke DiLorenzo and Crystal Kupper.  Which workshop would you have chosen? 

The final speaker of the day was inspirational. Toni McFadden told her own personal story in the closing session called “My God Who Redeems.” Her abortion story inspired sadness and tears, yet also great joy and happiness in knowing miracles do happen. 

We hope to see you at the conference next year.

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