Katie Perrotta is a 20-year-old student at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Having grown up “pro-life” she wasn’t active in defending life until she witnessed a campus display featuring images of abortion victims and the angry reaction of pro-choice students. It was then that she started reaching out to her campus and actively defending life. There’s no question that for Katie Perrotta, pro-life is a verb.
What inspired you to get involved in the pro-life movement?
While I’ve always been pro-life, pro-life wasn’t a verb until college. I was first inspired to get involved with the pro-life movement after seeing an abortion image display on my campus. I was very disturbed by the images, but even more disturbed by the aggression I saw from the pro-choice opposition protesting the display. Their total lack of empathy and emotion in the face of such startling images shocked me. I realized that day that my indifference in getting involved in the pro-life movement needed to end. From that day on, I was committed to standing up for the pre-born.
What do you do to support life and defend the pre-born?
I am the president of Students for Life at Eastern Michigan University. My group educates the campus on the topic of abortion and provide resources and options to students facing crisis pregnancies. I coordinate with community services; I communicate with directors of local Woman’s Centers and Crisis Pregnancies Centers. I table, flyer, and hand out resources for these services to as many students as possible. I coordinate and invite speakers, touring pro-life exhibits, pro-life projects, and pro-life events to my campus to help educate students. I chalk my campus sidewalks with pro-life messages. And I meet one-on-one with students to share the pro-life message with them, as well as provide them with resources they need.
I’m also involved with an organization called Guadalupe Partners, a partnership of pro-life people who help abortion-minded women to make life-affirming choices by providing them with the emotional, financial, and material support to continue their pregnancies. I’ve driven pregnant women to doctors appointments, dropped off diapers and clothes, built cribs in women’s apartments, and picked up bills from numerous women facing crisis pregnancies.
I also spend time witnessing and praying outside abortion facilities. I cannot overstate the importance of being a witness at these places. It’s a surreal experience at times. Sometimes all women need to turn away from abortion is the presence of someone who believes in life.
What is your favorite tool to communicate the pro-life stance?
This is a hard question. I think I have two that I like best.
My preferred method of communication is face-to-face interaction. I love being able to talk one-on-one with women facing crisis pregnancies, to have the chance to look a woman in the eye and tell her I’m here for her, that I want to and will help her. It all comes down to conversations; it’s all about human interactions. Everything else plants seeds for conversations.
I’m also a huge fan of chalking! It’s obvious; it’s bold. It’s in your face without being rude. There’s no way to walk past a huge heart and a caption that says “a baby’s heart beats after 21 days” or a chalked baby’s handprint next to “take my hand not my life” without stopping to think. I think it’s fun to do with my pro-life group, and I know it makes an impact on campus.
What are some ways students can be active in their pro-life work during school breaks?
I love to make use of my school breaks by walking around my campus and flyering all the posting boards with local pro-life Women’s Medical Centers’ information. I also love to cover campus with flyers that shed light on the topic of abortion. I know people walking by see these, and I hope it plants a seed in their hearts.
Also, chalking in a free moment is a fast, easy way to share your pro-life voice!
You don’t have time to waste in the pro-life movement, so don’t let any break time slip away! Someone’s life depends on it!
Share with us an encouraging event or a success story from your work.
With pro-life work, sometimes the success stories are hidden. But I know I have affected women and babies I have never met and will never meet. The executive director of a local pro-life woman’s center has told me that my group’s flyering their information has brought in women to their center, and as a result of that interaction, women have decided to continue their pregnancies.
Share with us an encounter with pro-abortion opposition and how you faced it.
I actually enjoy engaging pro-abortion opposition. In their minds, they already have decided who I am. But I know I am not who they think I am. I love to show them my own humanity, take a genuine interest in them as people, and shatter the stereotype they have in their mind of who I am as the president of a pro-life group. I feel that it all ties together with the purpose of a pro-life group: to share the worth of a human being, and to communicate the humanity of all humans. Just because they disagree with me, that doesn’t mean I can’t treat them with dignity and respect.
What keeps you going through the tough times?
When I hit hard times with pro-life work, I return to the basics: humans. When details weigh me down, or being the “abortion girl” on campus gets to me, I think about why I’m doing what I’m doing. I think of how abortion is a threat not just to the pre-born humans, but to all humans. Abortion is personally offensive to me as a human; it is an attack on my humanity. And as a member of the human family, I take it personally that anyone would threaten the pre-born of my human family.
I also have my faith to keep me going. I pray for strength, guidance, and courage. I know I’m not fighting this battle on my own. Christ has already won the battle against death.
What advice would you give to your peers?
Get out there! Just do it! Pro-Life is a VERB! You can’t save babies by merely wanting to; you save babies by putting yourself out of your comfort zone. You save babies by acting pro-life.
Network, network, network. You cannot fight this battle solo. It’s as simple as that. There is an enormous pro-life network in America; use it! Don’t hesitate to contact any and every pro-life organization around the country. I have never been turned away when searching for materials, content, and funds.
Contact local pregnancy centers, and tell them you want to share their materials.
Also, PRAY! Pray for all those in pro-life work. Pray for all the pro-life warriors. Pray for those women who will find out they’re pregnant today. Pray for the women who have abortions scheduled for today. Pray for women who are lost and alone in their pregnancies. Pray for the abortionist, and all abortion facilities workers, that their hearts will be changed. Pray for the souls of aborted children. Pray for babies in danger of abortion. Pray, pray, pray.
Name a hero or role model of yours and explain why he or she inspires you.
I am a huge fan of Bryan Kemper of Stand True Pro-Life Outreach. He is such a source of inspiration to me in the way he approaches his pro-life work. He is frank, reasonable, and to the point. He stands true to what he believes, and he communicates the pro-life message with clarity, care, and courage. He is not afraid to tell people what abortion really is: the murder of the pre-born. He doesn’t sugar-coat it, yet he still is sensitive in how he tells people they are terribly wrong about abortion. He works tirelessly to change the hearts and minds of those who are in opposition to the pro-life message.
What is your favorite pro-life quote?
“If pro-life is not a verb for you, then you are not truly pro-life.” – Bryan Kemper
Given a large sum of money and any connections you need, what would you do for the pro-life cause?
If I could do one thing for the pro-life movement, I’d put a pro-life pregnancy resource center on every college campus in America. The Alan Guttmacher institute reports that 43% of abortions are performed on college-aged women – that’s almost half. College campuses are the battlegrounds of the pro-life war. I know that if every college student had access to accurate information about pregnancy and motherhood, and access to the enormous support there is through the pro-life movement, the battle for the pre-born would change dramatically!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Be a rebel!
We all desire to stand out, to make a difference in someone’s life, to change the world. Well, in the pro-life moment, that opportunity is a very real one. Don’t settle for intellectually agreeing with the pro-life cause…do something about it! Choose to act pro-life. Get involved. Don’t just think it; do it. Ask your local pro-life groups what you can do to help. Each of us is in a completely unique position to make a difference in his or her own community. We must use our time and talents to stand up, speak up, and save lives. Please don’t become an observer in this! Be a player!
Do you know a student whose pro-life work should be recognized? Nominate him or her for a Live Action Student Spotlight here.