The last few years have been promising for the pro-life movement. With some setbacks here and there, accomplishments have included 20-week abortion bans, state defunding of Planned Parenthood locations, and the shutting down of numerous abortion facilities across the country. With a pro-life president about to take office who has vowed to federally defund Planned Parenthood and appoint pro-life politicians and judges, the hope for a more pro-life society is gaining momentum. But we still need to keep fighting and keep showing people that to be anti-abortion is to be pro-life, pro-love, pro-woman, and pro-child. Here are 17 simple and more involved ways you can make 2017 your most pro-life year yet:
- Switch your profile pictures. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, a quick change to your profile picture to a pro-life quote or image can make a big difference. Friends who are also pro-life but are afraid to voice it will be inspired by you and could change their photos and become more outspoken. And if people who know you but don’t know you’re pro-life take notice, it can help them to see that pro-lifers are normal, everyday people who aren’t out to hurt women.
- Share pro-life news. It’s easy to click “share” on Facebook and “retweet” on Twitter. It only takes a second and you could spread good, pro-life news to your friends and family across social media.
- Donate to pro-life groups. There are thousands to choose from. You can donate to a pro-life pregnancy center, a pro-life website, or your local Right to Life group. With pro-abortion groups being backed by celebrities and the government, pro-life groups can use all the support they can get. Planned Parenthood’s CEO makes nearly a million dollars a year, whereas most pro-life workers are volunteers.
- Volunteer at pro-life pregnancy centers. Pro-life pregnancy centers are mostly run by volunteers and one paid staff member. It can be difficult to staff their offices and stay open for as many hours as pro-abortion facilities can. Volunteering your time will help them reach more women and girls who desperately need assistance and support.
- Pray outside an abortion facility. Many people are intimidated by the idea of standing outside an abortion facility. But this can be one of the best ways to reach women in crisis situations. Women entering abortion centers are often scared and feeling alone. Seeing a kind face who reaches out in peace and understanding can make a big impact. Whether you simply pray or hand out pro-life materials, your presence outside an abortion center can save lives.
- Participate in a fundraiser for a pro-life cause. Pro-life pregnancy centers often hold walks and runs or other events to raise money. You can help by participating, raising money, or volunteering at the event.
- Hold a baby shower for a pregnant mom in need. Pregnancy centers often hold baby showers for moms who have chosen life. You can do the same by helping them host one, or by hosting your own for a mom you have heard of in your area who needs help. Whether she’s a teenager at school or a single mom who needs a helping hand, your efforts to help can make a big difference in their lives. And you can continue to be a support long after the baby is born.
- Deliver gifts to children. Throughout the year, be thinking about next Christmas and how there will be children in your area who won’t be receiving gifts. Be a “santa” for those children and enlist your friends to help. You could also plan to buy gifts for any children in the hospital next Christmas.
- Write letters to senators and members of Congress. Your local and federal government officials need to know that you support pro-life legislation. Make your voice loud and clear to them so that they know what you expect of them and their votes for pro-life measures.
- Become a mentor to a child. There are children who go home from school to an empty house every day. These children are at risk for getting into trouble and heading down the wrong path. By volunteering as a mentor, you can help them with homework, become a trusted adult authority figure, and help them become the best person they can be.
- Become a better friend to parent of a child with special needs. Moms and dads of children with special needs often feel isolated. Many of their old friends have disappeared from their lives out of fear and simply not knowing what to do or say. Don’t be that person. Instead, offer to learn everything you can about their child’s condition. Offer to babysit the other children while mom takes her child with special needs to doctor appointments and therapy. Provide meals and gift cards to the family when they are in the hospital, and offer respite to the parents when they just need a break.
- Invite your child’s classmates with special needs. Many children with special needs are often left out of social situations. They don’t get invited to birthday parties and playdates because so many of us are afraid of what to say or do around them. Show your children that children with special needs are just like them, and invite these children to birthday parties and playdates. You and your children will soon see that disabilities are nothing to be afraid of, and you will make these families extremely happy.
- Attend the March for Life. You don’t have to head to Washington, D.C., to attend a March for Life. Each state has an event of their own that you can attend, and there may even be more than one to choose from. Show up, raise your voice for life, and don’t forget to snap some pictures and share your pro-life message with everyone on social media.
- Volunteer with and without your children. Sign up to be a baby cuddler at your local hospital. Each day, babies and children sit in hospitals alone because their parents have to work or have abandoned them for a variety of reasons. These children are scared and alone and have no one to trust or bond with. Be that person. Take your children to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen to volunteer. Your children should know that all lives matter, and that just because some people look different or are homeless doesn’t mean they don’t deserve love and compassion.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up. When a friend makes a pro-abortion or discriminatory comment, don’t shy away from sharing your opinion. You might be criticized, but you’re speaking the truth and as long as you do that with love and not anger, you’ll always be in the right.
- Become a foster parent. Thousands of children need a trustworthy person to take care of them. Not getting our basic needs met as babies and children can have lasting negative impacts on our lives. Foster parents help babies in crisis situations and children in emergency situations to have a safe environment in which to live, even if it is temporary. Too many children are falling through the cracks of our foster care system because caring people are afraid to become foster parents because they don’t want to get attached. But becoming attached to a trustworthy adult is exactly what these children need. And if you feel the call to adopt, then don’t be afraid to take that step.
- Teach your children. The future will be a much better place if we teach our children to value all life. Whether preborn or born, everyone’s life has value. It doesn’t matter your age, your race, your abilities or disabilities, we each are worthy of love, respect, kindness, and second chances.
2017 is bound to be what you make of it. It’s your chance to help make the world a more pro-life place.