The Right to Life League of Southern California, located in Pasadena, boasts the distinction of being the oldest pro-life organization in the United States. The League was founded during Ronald Reagan’s governorship in California, and originally assembled in response to a 1960’s bill in the state.
Members of the League gathered and traveled to the capitol, where they were given fifteen minutes to speak with Reagan. The governor spent two hours with the pro-lifers, though, and emerged thoroughly convinced that supporting the bill in question was a bad idea, and his pro-life convictions gained momentum well into his presidency.
Today, the League still has its hands full spreading pro-life help and healing across the state. It helps many medical clinics in the to run smoothly by providing training for staff, doing bookkeeping, and keeping staff up-to-date on state regulations as they evolve. Because of the Right to Life League’s assistance, the staff at these clinics are able to focus their energy on helping the pregnant mothers who come to them for help. In all of this, the League’s primary goal is to raise the standard of care.
The League also hosts training opportunities for pro-lifers to learn more medical, legal and counseling aspects of the pro-life cause. They garner youth participation in the movement by hosting events for young people at large venues, where they can find out more about what it means to be the pro-life generation. The League even offers such programs as an adoptive mother support group, and a Spanish language hotline for mothers seeking help.
The Right to Life League strives to provide factual information about abortion to California communities. Working at the community level, the League helps individuals to become more informed about the abortion choice, providing a full range of information that it believes the media lacks in its glorification of the topic.
One of the League’s missions is to help women and men suffering from post-abortion trauma. With an eye to emotional healing, they work to undo some of the damage done by abortion proponents who did not fully apprise these individuals of the possible consequences –including a host of post-traumatic stress symptoms — that they may experience following abortion.
And unlike big abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Right to Life League receives no government money, and they charge nothing for their services. While Planned Parenthood garners millions of dollars in patient fees and tax funding every week, groups like the Right to Life League of Southern California survive thanks to the generosity of supportive foundations and private donations.
One of the League’s most intriguing programs is its Elev8 Teen Prevention Program. This program works with teens to help them learn to respect themselves and their bodies — a feat in the home to Hollywood, which inundates young people on a daily basis with the opposite message. The program looks to lower the teen birth rate by encouraging sexual integrity, which it believes is a win-win for teens, helping them to honor their own dignity as persons and prevent pregnancy at the same time.
The League also participates in Project Rachel, a post-abortion healing program. Project Rachel invites parents who have experienced the devastation of abortion — either recently or in the distant past — to take part in a program of healing and closure. “There is such a need for this,” the director told me in personal interview at their headquarters. “People suffer so much following an abortion. These people feel cut off from peace with themselves. And we have the answer. We can offer them peace.”