StandUpGirl.com is a powerful online tool reaching millions of young women and teen girls interested in facts on pregnancy and abortion with the message that they are not alone. The face of StandUpGirl.com is a young college student named Becky, who became pregnant at the age of 20. The fear and pressure Becky felt to have an abortion is common among many young women as they contemplate their pregnancy decisions.
StandUpGirl.com’s message is clear: being pregnant, although it may come at a bad time, is not the end of the world.
In 1999, Paul Harmon, an engineer from Oregon, took his vision to Oregon Right to Life, and the StandUpGirl.com Foundation, the nonprofit organization which runs StandUpGirl.com, was born. Since its launch, the website has had over 30 million visitors and has received correspondence from across the United States as well as Canada, South Africa, Japan, England, Australia, Russia, Africa, and South America and many other places around the world. The website has a blog, a forum, and a way for girls to text, e-mail and view videos. Volunteers from around the world, including Becky, interact with the women as they visit the site’s forum.
Part of the reason for the website’s success is that they share real stories from women who have stood up to the culture in order to do what is right for their preborn children. The StandUpGirl.com Foundation works to reach girls at the point of their crisis, by bringing young people to the website. Dawn Marie Pérez, executive director of the StandUpGirl.com Foundation, shared this information about their mission:
While the mission of changing hearts and saving lives is not unique to StandUpGirl, our approach is different from other pro-life sites. We are the only pro-life website that “reaches across the aisle” to young men and women who are not pro-life and would never think about going or want to go to a pro-life website.
The women and teens who visit StandUpGirl.com are able to post questions in their forums where they receive feedback from others who can relate to them right where they are, but the forums, chat groups, and e-mails are moderated by StandUpGirl.com staff to make sure that abortion is not pushed as a solution. The StandUpGirl.com team also works hard to get their pro-life message in front of as many of these these young women as possible through a unique strategy of advertising. Pérez provided information to Live Action News which states, “There is an enormous amount of information available on the internet. With over 16.7 million search results for the word abortion alone, finding StandUpGirl.com would be next to impossible if we were not able to advertise through search engines like Google and Bing.”
The website has been successful in connecting vulnerable young women with local pregnancy resource centers that can provide them with both the personal interaction they need and a local support team. In 2013, the site added an option for young women to text PREGNANT to 313131 to receive 24-hour counseling support. After rolling out the new text service, 45 girls used the text support line. Now, StandUpGirl.com has almost 400 text conversations a month with abortion-vulnerable women and teens. In addition, the organization has an Android and iPhone App on the market for users to download, which provides access to their forums, videos, pregnancy symptoms information, and support lines, including OptionLine.
The organization is reaching younger generations where they spend much of their time – all for the purpose of saving lives:
As technology changes and our users get more mobile, we will have to develop more innovative ways to stay where users can easily obtain access to our resources. All of these forms of communication are helping us to reach our ultimate goal, which is to save the lives of a future generation and change hearts from believing abortion as a viable option.