The 7th annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference, held in Indianapolis, Indiana, began just hours after the monumental announcement that Roe v. Wade had been overturned. As the conference commenced, shouts of praise and tears of joy filled the room of over 400 women.
Joanna Hyatt — author, speaker, and former Director of Strategic Partnerships for Live Action — kicked off the event as its first keynote speaker. She was introduced by emcee Lauren Muzyka of Sidewalk Advocates for Life as “The pro-life movement’s first keynote speaker in a post-Roe America!”
Hyatt’s presentation centered around the conference’s theme, “For Such a Time as This,” and while she couldn’t have known the significance of her speech when she prepared it, her words relayed the perfect message for each woman in the room, as well as the entire pro-life movement, as pro-lifers enter a new season in the fight for life.
The changes to abortion access we are witnessing are an answer to prayer that most people never imagined would occur in their lifetime. While many rejoice, evil seems to spew out of the hearts of those who strongly support abortion. Hyatt acknowledged the importance of being aware of this evil but refusing to allow it to deter us from living out our part in this story, no matter how big or small our role may seem.
History is filled with endless lists of times when people faced evil of various forms and in many cases, communities were riddled with fear during those times. Hyatt referred to the terror that struck the world because of the atomic bomb, sharing this quote by C.S. Lewis: “In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents. In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation.”
Hyatt followed this quote by saying, “Basically, Lewis was saying, ‘You ain’t special!’”
Her words induced a room full of laughter, but her point was a valid reminder. We are not the first in history to face times of difficulty. She reminded the audience, “We can take comfort in knowing we aren’t the first women to live during a dark, evil time.”
As the pro-life movement ventures into a post-Roe America, Hyatt encouraged pro-life women to remember that we are alive right now for a reason; that we are the people God has chosen to fight for life in this point in history. She encouraged each person present, saying, “You were born now to remind people of the beauty of life, to love your neighbors, and to fight for life through prayer.”
She spoke to each person with a heart for the preborn, saying the role women play in the fight for life, regardless of how small or large, is vital. Whether someone gives financially to a pregnancy resource center, helps women find healing after abortion, leads a ministry, speaks boldly on a public stage, or simply pledges to pray for the movement, each and every person is necessary. She encouraged the audience to “resist the temptation to believe your importance is based on recognition.”
Hyatt’s message inspired each woman present to “live out OUR part in history – for such a time as this – and what a time it is!”
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