Some lawmakers have been making tragic and unwise decisions about abortion recently. First, U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC), along with a few others such as Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN), sabotaged the federal Pain Capable 20-Week Abortion Ban bill in the House of Representatives. Second, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), publicly flip-flopped by denouncing his Pro-Life views in favor of calling himself Pro-Choice. Also on the radar is that Gov. Scott Walker has hired an abortion-friendly staffer to manage his presidential run. And lastly, Michigan House Representative Brandon Dillon (D – Grand Rapids) followed in Ryan’s footsteps by publicly switching from Pro-life to Pro-Abortion-Choice.
Millennials have a fairly simple – but immensely powerful – message for these politicians and any others considering similar moves: You will be challenged on your abortion views.
We are the majority. We are rising up. We will not be silent. Any public figure who believes they do not need to take the pro-life movement seriously, as those listed above clearly do, is a fool. You cannot sabotage common-sense pro-life legislation, hire pro-abortion staff to run your campaigns, or completely back-stab our movement by switching teams and get away with it.
When MI Rep. Dillon posted his op-ed two weeks ago, it took Students for Life approximately 20 minutes to organize students from every college in Dillon’s district with a protest plan. We called his office repeatedly until we had a meeting arranged with him a week later. Students from Grand Valley Students for Life, Grand Rapids Community College Students for Life, and Aquinas College Saints for Life spent the next seven days planning to get out of class and gathering letters addressed to Dillon from dozens of their peers. We had conference calls to establish our talking points, we mobilized dozens of students, and received countless messages and prayers of support from our peers, families, and communities.
Partnering with Right to Life of Michigan, we were able to gather at their headquarters in downtown Lansing, Michigan to go over the game-plan ahead of time. Every student wore matching shirts that said, “I AM THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION”.
When we met with Rep. Dillon at his office, we had to move to a meeting room across the hall because we did not all fit in his office. He was respectful and thanked us for coming, but he was clearly uncomfortable.
The students were phenomenal. As soon as Rep. Dillon gave them the floor, they launched into their reasoned arguments. Their first move was to point out how abortion on demand actually harms women, which I believe struck a chord. They then systematically and intelligently walked through the reasoning behind a pro-life position, step by step. Rep. Dillon quickly became defensive and began going off topic frequently – a sign of insecurity. The students had him on his heels, and they knew it. They did most the talking for over 40 minutes. As things began to wrap up, they ended graciously by informing Rep. Dillon that we will welcome him back if he admits he is wrong. As one student put it: “There is still time for you to be a champion for Life.”
The point here is simple. The youth are pro-life. If you want to win the youth, the answer is not to be pro-choice or to avoid talking about abortion. The answer is to be passionately and emphatically PRO-LIFE. And if you betray this pro-life generation we will notice, we will act, and we will make your political life uncomfortable. Because we believe in human equality; and we get pretty upset when you discriminate against preborn human beings at the expense of their lives.
Join us! Rise up with us! If you are a student right now, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out who your Regional Coordinator is to get involved. If you are a Michigan resident, e-mail Rep. Brandon Dillon at email@example.com to tell him his recent change of position is a huge mistake.