Thinking Through What a Profile of New ‘Reproductive Rights Activists” Reveals

By Dave Andrusko

“I think the word ‘choice’ is just not resonating in the same way,’ says KaeLyn Rich, a reproductive rights activist.”
     —   From “Reproductive Rights: the New Activists,” which appeared in the [Rochester] City Newspaper.

With multiple young people participating as National Right to Life Interns or members of the NRL Academy this summer, it is very easy to be very encouraged about the future of our Movement. They are uniformly bright, motivated, and engaged in the greatest movement for social justice of our time.

But that also makes my antennae all the more sensitive to news from the other side. Pro-abortionists loudly lament the “graying” of their cause, so when an alternative newspaper in Rochester offers a profile of the “new activists,” I pay attention.

I came away with two primary conclusions, beyond the overriding point that there is a new “model” for young pro-abortion activists (which I’ll address at the end).

One, the meaningless banner of “choice” is almost as meaningless to younger pro-abortion activists as it is to us. The buzz word for them, according to the article written by Jeremy Moule, is “access.”

Second, they’re not much into “protests and rallies, the consciousness-raising tools of the past,” Moule writes. And because “Online organizing and action is less visible,” it “may give a misleading impression that youth aren’t engaged.”

Well, okay. Our Movement also employs social media to accomplish a lot of important tasks. So I’d never pooh-pooh the importance of having “significant digital components.”

But it may also be that while pro-abortion activists have “young professionals groups,” they don’t have the pool of energized young people—high school and college age students who will someday be “young professionals”– that the Right to Life Movement has. And certainly nothing to match National Right to Life’s new “Life and Leadership Camp Initiative.” (See Part Five today.)

A final thought, and it’s based on a keen insight on the Moule’s part. “But the old and new models essentially end up being about the same things: building up community, talking about the issues, raising awareness, educating the public, and taking action.”

That IS the name of the game. And I would close by asking you, in what ways are you contributing to “building up community, talking about the issues, raising awareness, educating the public, and taking action”?

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