This Giving Tuesday, we’re highlighting pro-lifers who have been emboldened by Secular Pro-Life’s work. Their stories affirm how essential inclusivity and facts-based arguments are to upending pro-choice narratives. As the national debate rages on, it’s more important than ever that pro-life organizations not only make space for pro-lifers from every walk, but also equip and empower them.
We hope that this series inspires you to support Secular Pro-Life through our Giving Tuesday campaign so that we can continue mobilizing diverse pro-lifers everywhere.
We’ve given Michelle new language.
Michelle writes: My all time favorite post from Secular Pro-Life is this photo of a Buddhist, a Pagan, and Christian, all outside an abortion clinic. Each of them were praying in their own ways. It was so impactful to me. I felt like that should be the goal; it doesn’t matter what your background is, we should all be striving for a nonviolent future.
As a Californian, everyone I know is pro-choice. I was raised in a pro-choice family. My dad explained abortion to me at the age of 13; he told me it was just something girls have to do in order to continue their education. In middle school I always chose the pro-choice side to represent in debate. Being pro choice was synonymous with my freedom, equality, and having control over my life.
But at the age of 15 I became pregnant. I had to confront my pro-choice position head-on. I could feel my daughter as a whole, real person. Even before her kicks, I could feel her. I always thought you became a mother after you gave birth, but that wasn’t how I felt. From the moment she existed I was her mother. I already felt responsible for her, like it was my job to protect her. So I hid my pregnancy from my parents until I was four months pregnant. Even then they pressured me to abort. “We can get rid of this problem.” But as a mom, I knew I would never let anyone touch my baby.
The shift in that moment wasn’t so much from pro-choicer to fierce pro-life activist. I was more personally pro-life but politically pro-choice. I had always grown up thinking that pro-lifers were just the crazy religious people who firebombed abortion clinics. I didn’t really feel like there was space for me as an atheist in the movement.
So I got online and researched more, made friends with people who don’t fit the usual “religious conservative” mold of pro-lifers, and found Secular Pro-Life. Their content spread the message that anyone can be pro-life, and it equipped me to join the debate.
I’ve learned so much about abortion following SPL. But I’ve also been able to represent the pro-life position better because of them. Any time something viral is going on, SPL breaks it down so that I can actually hyperlink something that makes sense to my pro-choice friends. They’re always asking you to cite your sources, and Secular Pro-life puts everything together in one spot so I can do that. For example, there was this big Bill Nye piece that claimed the pro-life position was anti-science, but it was literally full of bullcrap. It was glaringly problematic, but to walk a friend through point by point was nearly impossible. Instead, I could just hyperlink Secular Pro-life’s response article Dear Bill Nye: Where’s the science, guy?
It’s amazing how often the debate can spiral into wild talking points, but if you can just remain the sane person in the room, you have a chance at convincing someone else. You might think you’re only ever debating one person online, but the truth is so many people are watching the comments. You never know who you might get to finally listen.
I think people respond to the level-headed, deep arguments that pro-lifers can have. A few years ago there was a campaign on the Hyde amendment, and SPL featured how likely it was that if you were born in a certain year, Hyde likely had some impact on your chance of survival. That really got me thinking about how a fetus grows up to become a whole person with their own talent and contributions to the world. When you can tie that to real friends, real people who might otherwise not be here, it helps create meaning around our position. It shows that we don’t just care about fetuses, but also about the whole person they will eventually become. That campaign especially helped me see that policy directly translates to saving lives.
When Roe was overturned, there was a lot of hostility on social media. It was so encouraging to have SPL post threads of things like pro-choice people calling out pro-lifers to see what they had ever done to help born people, and to see so many examples where our movement is doing just that. It was helpful to see how Secular Pro-life engaged the conversation and worked on being fact-driven, level-headed, and respectful.
I totally changed my language after watching their responses; I stopped saying “the baby” because people just get stuck on it. I’m here to convince them to be pro-life, not to argue about semantics. I’ve even had pro-choicers say that I don’t “seem” pro-life, not because I’m an atheist, but because they’re used to getting yelled at by pro-lifers instead of being asked questions. The stories SPL shares from people who changed from pro-choice to pro-life are so powerful. There’s hope.
I love working with SPL because I love spreading the message that our position is based on fact. I always want to share that our movement is literally just: “Do you care about humans? Then let’s go!” As an atheist it’s especially meaningful to me that SPL is putting out the message that anyone from any walk of life can be against abortion. When the pro-life movement is truly inclusive, we can make so much progress.
Give us the funding to fight on.
We’re committed to equipping diverse pro-lifers to get involved and take a stand. Partner with us in this essential work by contributing to our year-end goal of $10,000. Giving is activism. And we’re honored to have you stand with us as together we fight for life.
[Read more SPL testimonials]