[If you would like to share why you support SPL, please do so here.]
We at Secular Pro-Life love feedback. It helps us to know what content is resonating with audiences and helps us understand how to come alongside pro-lifers who are mobilizing across the globe.
During the first half of our end-of-year campaign, we focused on activists working in the United States. To wrap up the series, we now turn our attention to our international supporters.
Monica spoke with each of the following activists about what drew them to SPL. Here’s what they had to say:
Kristina Artuković, Serbia
Secular Pro-Life is the only organization in the world completely devoid of any particular in-group worldview superior to the anti-abortion stance. It provides a solid, extremely informed and unbiased foothold for every pro-life person on the planet. I believe their work is essential for the global unity and relevance of the pro-life movement.
Over the years, Secular Pro-Life has published tons of exquisite content covering legal, scientific, philosophical and sociological aspects of the abortion debate. SPL is simply the best source for equipping every pro-life activist with a true wealth of sound arguments and relevant data, all the while providing a deep sense of community.
In addition to this, SPL’s social media outreach is a great example of clear, competent and level-headed communication with opponents, sprinkled with good-natured humor and a perfect amount of sass. It’s incredibly inspiring to witness their activity in real time with real people.
Pablo Mestrovic, Argentina
I have spent many years looking for a secular pro-life organization. Here in Argentina the pro-life movement is heavily dominated by religious groups, although many of them pretend to be secular, but indeed they use religious arguments, focus on issues unrelated to abortion but central to the conservative religious agenda, etc.
The amazing research work of SPL was really inspirational to me. As a sociologist by profession, I think research on the issue of abortion is very important in order to debunk a lot of poorly grounded claims which prochoicers spread to further their cause.
[Read more – Estimation issues for the incidence of illegal or underreported abortion by Pablo Mestrovic]
I also think that our struggle is about reducing abortion rates/ratios because it means saving lives and also makes abortion less acceptable. I was really impressed by the work of SPL on abortion bans and restrictions actually reducing abortion rates/ratios Until then I tried to avoid arguing with pro-choicers about the incidence of abortion and focused on abortion being inherently inhuman instead, which very often led to harden the stances of prochoicers I argued with.
These have been hard times for pro-lifers here. Not only because of the draft abortion law being passed, but also because our movement has increasingly relied on far right political movements, which may succeed in the polls, but create an abyss between us and all the people with progressive and even merely democratic views. So the work of SPL and being able to help them has kept my morale high in this hard context.
Julia Zwolinska, Poland
SPL caught my attention because of the strictly biology-based nature of the organisation’s arguments and reasoning. As a Catholic myself, my opinions and views on abortion have been frequently disregarded due to the assumption that they are founded purely on my religious beliefs, which often left me with a feeling of futility and a degree of hopelessness. But when I found SPL and saw their use of simple truths and facts to dismantle this awful house of cards, I was finally revitalised in this effort.
Also, SPL produces very direct, clear and informative content, which I think is invaluable to the cause.
So, at the first opportunity, I joined to help out SPL as it fights a battle worth fighting in a powerful, rational, and striking way.
Luis Masuelli, Ecuador
I was drawn to SPL because it was the only secular movement so far. It is helpful to essentially prove to the atheist communities that we [secular pro-lifers] DO exist and that there’s no logical contradiction between being atheist and pro-life. Then, to prove to religious people that we don’t need to be one of their followers to share common views.
In practical terms, SPL makes me feel supported when I do the same or similar. Especially with women leading the movement (we have the same “no uterus, no opinion” speech here).
Aoife Byrne, Australia
I’m currently 26 and childless, I was raised culturally Catholic but today I would identify as an agnostic. I grew up in Ireland where it was illegal till recently (2019), though I moved to Australia long before then. When I first considered the issue, I was a teenager and had picked up my own mother’s opinion, “I could never but I wouldn’t stop you,” which was the progressive Irish stance of the 90s and 00s.
My own parents chose life, they had no house, no money and no working records after moving back to Ireland from working abroad. My mother was on the pill, but a course of antibiotics she was on meant that it had failed. She could have gone to England to get the procedure done but chose to keep and raise me. My parents thankfully had large families ready to support them and me.
I always knew this story, though some of the details were later inferred by me (such as that she could have gone to England to abort). I’m grateful my parents took responsibility for me even though they had reasons and options not to.
For me there was never a question: the continuity between the unborn child and the living person is undeniable. Moving to Australia, with its radically more secular culture, it was a shock how accepted abortion was. There was no debate anymore, it had been made legal since 1969, prior to the birth of either of my parents.
I was always fascinated that the question was still open in America. As an agnostic it was hard to stomach the very religious overtones of those on the pro-life side, though I couldn’t help but agree with their more data- and reason-driven points.
My first two subsequent boyfriends made it clear to me that they were not ready for kids and would not stick around if I became pregnant. I had a few very traumatic pregnancy scares over these two relationships, and I felt so alone and so attached to the idea that if I was pregnant, it either was going to end my relationships or I was going to be forced to kill the baby.
I was 18 to 24 during this period. Though my parents always stood by me and said they would help support me and my child if I became pregnant, at that time their support really helped me. I thankfully left both those situations myself. Now I am with a man, though he leans pro-choice, who is very pro-children and pro-families. We can have fruitful debates about the efficacy and ethics of abortion. He’s coming around.
In more recent years the YouTube algorithm had been pushing Catholic pro-life content towards me and I started to feel really strongly about the topic. On research I found out around 1/4 of pregnancies are terminated per year in Australia. I was disgusted at the 60k+ figure that this official Australian health care review cited. That’s when I “radicalised” and felt like I had to be a part of putting the alternatives and arguments out there.
I found out about Secular Pro-Life from the comments of the Destiny v Trent Horn abortion debate, on the Whatever podcast. There a commenter recommended that they should ask SPL to speak to the girls on that podcast, since many of these guests aren’t religious and don’t accept religious people’s arguments, because they assume their belief in God is the main reason for their pro-life stance.
I don’t use TikTok but binged much of the content and interviews through Instagram and YouTube after hearing about SPL. It was a breath of fresh air to finally see women like myself: pro-life but not for specifically theological reasons. While I don’t know if there’s a God, I do know that the unborn are human no matter what stage of development they’re at, and deserve the consideration that being human typically entails.
Axel Abbas, Italy
What drew me to SPL was how it stands out of the pro-life environment, being an organisation that is pro-life (of course) yet also having an approach that is open to atheists and progressives instead of the usual organisations of religious conservatives.
The way SPL presents factual arguments calmly and rationally is also a breath of fresh air as opposed to what can be heard on the media with pro-lifers angrily demonising women for being forced into an abortion.
Another point is the way SPL is especially pro-women, caring for the women who are forced into abortions in addition to caring for the children.
SPL certainly showed me that pro-life atheists, pro-life progressives, pro-life feminists and pro-life women do exist and are more numerous as well as organised than what can be seen on the media. This has allowed me to try to do some work in order to help SPL, if ever so slightly.
Andreas Dueren, Germany
My wife and I started a pro-life advocacy organization in Germany a few years ago, and the first time I came across Secular Pro-life I was trying to find more information on the legalization of abortion and its effects. So I came across SPL’s wonderful website, a treasure trove of information, not only on this topic but also on others, and I reached out to Monica and she was very happy to share information with me and has been in good contact ever since.
I can only ask others to continue to support SPL and their wonderful team because when you give money to them, you don’t only help them, but you also help organizations like us who are really, really grateful for their work.