By Michael Israel, President of Lehigh Valley Pro-Life Future
I count it as a privilege to live in a nation where any man or woman is able to use his or her rights to advocate for the rights of those who cannot advocate for themselves. As citizens of the United States, we are able to assemble, to advocate, to persuade, and to influence both culture and law. And as the President of the Pro-Life Future Chapter in Lehigh Valley, PA, for me that means the preborn, and their mothers.
This is exactly what our Pro-Life Future group was able to do while we walked through the halls of power in our state capital building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. While this is not our first foray into politics, it is the first time that we as a group were able to have an audience with an elected official, and we made the most of it.
The State Representative we met with was Marcia Hahn (R) of the 138th District, one of several state representatives in the Lehigh Valley area. Before we met her, we were told that she was a very sweet, friendly and down to earth legislator, and she more than met our expectations as we spent the day with her, both touring around the capital and in watching her take part in the legislative process.
Luckily for us, the capital building is exquisitely beautiful and based off of St. Peter and Paul’s basilica in Rome. It gave us hope that we could convince the legislator to see human lives as just as beautiful.
During lunch, we were able to talk to Rep. Hahn more about pro-life issues. She assured us that she always tries to err on the side of the life whenever possible.
Thankfully we had the opportunity to discuss how we were working on a Pregnant on Campus initiative for local colleges because there were many women on college campuses who felt pressured to have an abortion. We explained that while Title IX prevents discrimination based on sex and pregnancy status, these rights may as well have been non-existent because so few have ever even heard of them.
Rep. Hahn was very interested to hear about the personal testimony of our Vice President, Anna, and how she felt as a former student athlete. She and her teammates felt the pressure to choose abortion if they had become pregnant for fear of losing scholarships, or losing position on the team, both of which are prohibited by Title IX protections. We all agreed that knowledge and awareness of these protections, before a woman became pregnant, would be a huge step in helping college-aged women (who make up nearly half of all abortions) to choose life.
Having a good relationship with state representatives is, we believe, one of the most important things that a local pro-life group can do because having the ears of those who would vote on your state’s laws is a huge benefit to our mission to abolish abortion.
But there is another reason why cultivating these relationships are important: amending the United States Constitution. Regardless of who is on the Supreme Court, the Constitution can be changed in defense of the preborn if three-fourths of all of our state legislative bodies vote in favor of a constitutional amendment, something that, while possible, would take a tremendous amount of coordination between the States. Yet this is something that Pro-life Future is uniquely in a position to support as young professionals spread out across the nation.
Whatever the results long-term though, we have the momentum to make changes here from the ground-up within the political sphere, momentum to change our Pennsylvanian landscape into one where abortion is unthinkable!