By: Rebekah Geer
As the summer began, I could not have imagined that I would end up in Austin, Texas standing face to face with Planned Parenthood President, Cecile Richards, with a screaming mob surrounding us. My meetup with abortion’s biggest advocate has been a long time coming.
The pro-life cause has been in the forefront of my mind since elementary school. When I was 9 years old, I remember preparing for that year’s March For Life–cutting out pictures of cute babies from a calendar and gluing them onto my cardboard sign. A few weeks before this, I slid a VHS tape into the television set and watched as it explained and recounted the horrors of abortion. I sat alone in the living room and cried as I saw these fragile bodies that were ripped apart by this horrific procedure. I could not believe this was legal. And I still can’t.
I am convinced that legal abortion is the greatest human rights violation of our time. As with all truly held beliefs, it should have an impact in some way–it must produce action. This conviction is what led me to intern at the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI) this summer–an organization that’s been advocating for pro-life legislation for decades.
Earlier this month, the Texas legislature was set to once again try to pass strong pro-life legislation. The first time through, radical pro-abortion demonstrators disrupted the proceedings and managed to kill the bill. Pro-lifers were determined not to let the radicals have their way again.
Back here in Pennsylvania, Dan Bartkowiak, one of the team members here at PFI told me about a Students for Life of America bus trip to stand with students from across the country (and even internationally) to join with Texans in support of House Bill 2; a bill that would ban abortion past 20 weeks, and would include strong abortion clinic health and safety regulations like those PFI successfully promoted in my state. This bill struck close to home, as the Kermit Gosnell atrocities could have been prevented in my home state, had regulations like these been in place. Students for Life sought to take a stand with Texas prolifers, as this isn’t just a Texas issue, but a human rights issue.
At first I was hesitant, having virtually no details of what the week would entail–not to mention the 30 hour bus ride from Arlington, Virginia to Austin, Texas on a bus with people I’d never met. Despite my nervousness, I decided that this was the time to commit to the pro-life cause and join my fellow students with the battle cry, “WE ARE THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION!”
This journey led me to speak directly to Cecile Richards, to talk with an orange-clad (the color of those against HB 2) woman regretful of her abortion, and meet dozens of passionate pro-life men and women from around the country. Our goal was successful, and the bill passed in both the House and Senate. At a Planned Parenthood rally in San Antonio, Texas, pro- abortion Senator Wendy Davis shouted to the crowd–“This fight is just beginning!” Although our aims are opposite, I would have to agree with Senator Davis. The steps Texas and other states have taken to limit abortion are worth celebrating, but this fight is just beginning.
More of my Texas Travelogue to come.
Rebekah is a summer intern with the Pennsylvania Family Institute.