“What can I do to help fight the problem of abortion?” Ensign, Oct. 1978, 16
Susan H. Aylworth As the mother of four young sons and as an active pro-life volunteer, I have found numerous ways to get involved:
Join up! There are many organizations that serve the pro-life movement. They range from activist groups that are committed to effecting change in legislation to more passive, behind-the-scenes groups that offer one-to-one assistance to distressed pregnant women. Even if you aren’t interested in group affiliation, you may find it helpful to keep some of their literature on hand and know whom to contact in your area in case someone you know may need their services.
Use the right words. Discussions over whether to say “anti-abortion” or “pro-life” may seem trivial, but you will notice that abortion advocates are very careful in the words they use, choosing euphemisms that play down the harsh realities of life and death. Small wonder that a young woman who feels no qualms about “evacuating fetal tissue” will think twice when you point out that she is killing her baby by suction vivisection. No need to become too graphic or grisly in your vocabulary, but always call a spade a spade—and a baby a baby. Killing by any other name still results in a death.
Put your money where your heart is. We may be openly opposed to abortion, but our tax dollars are paying for it. Why not write your senators and representatives? Does your insurance company deny medical benefits for full-term pregnancies but cover the full costs of abortions under its “complications” clause? Tell them your feelings. Does the charitable “umbrella” organization you support grant money to abortion clinics? Let them know how you feel.
You are your sister’s keeper. Suppose you discover that your next-door-neighbor’s daughter (or your niece, your babysitter, etc.) is pregnant and does not want to be. What do you say? The distressed pregnant woman is in need of gentle, realistic help—not advice. Bearing her child is the right thing for her to do. It may also be the hardest. She could hide a legal abortion; she cannot hide an illegitimate pregnancy. She needs support, reassurance, acceptance, love, and genuine concern. Help her, or get her to someone who can. LDS Social Services has a terrific program.
Encourage discussion of the issue. No matter how much we’d like it to, abortion will not go away by itself. Get acquainted with the facts, then share them whenever a reasonable opportunity arises. Many pro-life organizations have filmstrips, movies, slides, and literature that they will gladly share with organizations and group meetings. They are also happy to provide speakers. In some areas, the Church filmstrip on abortion may also be available.
It is especially important to impress the goodness of life upon the very young. And most of all, be open and genuine. Others will be touched by your sincerity, and the things you say in favor of allowing life to continue may strike a responsive chord when you least expect it.