The next generation’s history books may identify 2021 as a critical year for the right to life. Here’s what we were up to.
In January, we marked the tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The March for Life was cancelled due to COVID-19. We made do with a virtual conference. Joining Rehumanize International and other pro-life groups for a virtual game night lifted our spirits! Joe Biden was inaugurated as the President of the United States; we said “bring it on.” We made the pro-life argument for getting your COVID vaccine, while acknowledging the legitimate concerns about unethical exploitation of abortion victims for vaccine development.
In February, Monica Snyder shared the overwhelming evidence that pro-life laws prevent abortions and save lives, instead of just driving the abortion industry underground. We protested the nomination of abortion extremist Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. Secular Pro-Life President Kelsey Hazzard gave a Zoom presentation to pro-life advocates in Houston.
In March, we reviewed Planned Parenthood’s annual report and found, to no one’s surprise, that Planned Parenthood continues to expand abortion at the expense of real reproductive healthcare. Josh Brahm of the Equal Rights Institute shared his tips on how to make the pro-life case honestly and persuasively. Monica publicized a key finding from the Turnaway Study, which followed women who were denied abortions; five years later, the overwhelming majority no longer wished they could have had an abortion.
In April, we launched How To Be Pro-Life! The website features a concrete pro-life action you can take for every week of the year. We took part in the Save Hyde National Day of Action on April 10. The Hyde Amendment remains under threat, but so far intact. Kelsey spoke at the Consistent Life virtual conference, as did our illustrious vice president, Terrisa Bukovinac. Kelsey also reviewed two very different books: the intentionally pro-life children’s book I Can Hear Music, and the unintentionally pro-life adult bestseller Random Family.
In May, Terrisa joined a virtual panel on improving contraceptive access, hosted by R Street. Guest author Daniel Gump debunked pro-abortion misinformation about Pennsylvania’s fetal remains bill. Secular Pro-Life joined 60+ other anti-abortion groups in an open letter demanding no taxpayer subsidies for the abortion industry.
In June, Terrisa made headlines with her fiery comments challenging Catholic bishops to stick their necks out for the unborn. We highlighted an admission by pro-abortion media outlet Mother Jones that most late-term abortions are medically unnecessary. Guest author Acyutananda offered four responses to “No Uterus, No Opinion.”
In July, we signed on to a pro-life feminist amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The brief argues women do not rely on abortion to succeed. Indeed, women’s presence in the workforce has increased as abortion rates have plummeted. Terrisa spoke at a Democrats for Life of America rally in support of the Hyde Amendment. By popular vote, a beautiful design by Brazilian artist Nanda Gasperini was selected as the official flag of the pro-life movement. On the blog, Kelsey made the case that medical marijuana is a life issue. The Matter of Life, a documentary featuring interviews with both Monica and Terrisa, made its debut.
August was Monica Snyder’s first month as our Executive Director! After over a decade as an all-volunteer organization, Secular Pro-Life finally has a paid staff person devoting full-time effort to the cause. Kelsey remained a volunteer but didn’t slow down: she contributed an article to Human Life Review, gave a virtual presentation to campus activists at the University of Ottawa, and began mentoring a pro-life high school student through the Stevens Fellowship.
In September, Monica presented “Deconstructing Three Pro-Choice Myths” at the Rehumanize Conference. She was also quoted in the National Catholic Reporter. Kelsey appeared on Rob Schmitt Tonight to offer a legal explainer on litigation surrounding the Texas Heartbeat Act. She also spoke to students at the University of Georgia. Secular Pro-Life again joined many coalition partners in defense of the Hyde Amendment. And we set the record straight on attempts by National Public Radio and Ms. Magazine to deny the science of embryonic heartbeats.
In October, Terrisa launched the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU). Kelsey responded to a brief filed by secular pro-choice groups in the Dobbs case. The National Catholic Register published an interview with Kelsey. And Kelsey’s “Open Letter to a Young Texan,” celebrating a child saved by the Texas Heartbeat Act, was reprinted in Live Action News.
In December, we rallied outside the Supreme Court before Justices heard oral arguments in Dobbs. Monica spoke eloquently about being a pro-life atheist woman and the hollowness of the pro-abortion narrative. Our signs and banners were captured by press photographers and appeared in numerous outlets, including the New York Times, The Hill and the Los Angeles Times. Justice Sotomayor made ignorant comments about the science of life’s beginning, which she mischaracterized as a religious view; Monica responded with an article in TownHall. Kelsey released her pro-life, anti-ableist young adult novel No Right to Be Here. On the blog, Monica shared the surreal experience of hearing her daughter’s heartbeat for the first time on the very day the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect, and Kelsey explained how pro-life “trigger” laws work.
To all who have supported Secular Pro-Life this year, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are excited to see what 2022 has in store!