Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So the Pro-Life Cause has Media Attention…Now What?

Girl thinking
I remember it very well.

Ten years ago, the MSM wouldn’t give the pro-life movement the time of day.

Now, there is a constant stream of articles and features on pro-life issues.

Is that enough? Of course not.

It’s very helpful that the MSM gives us attention. But it’s not always the coverage we want.

With issues like same-sex marriage, the MSM does a lot of the heavy lifting for activists. The arguments and presumptions in the reporting help carry the cause.

We’re not going to get a lot of that from the MSM. So we need to take it to the next level.

The first thing we need to do is to continue to drive home the message that a fetus is a human being.

That, by itself, won’t win the abortion fight, but it’s the next step.

Right now, when confronted with abortion, most politicians feed the media the line: abortion is a woman’s right to choose, we can’t take away women’s rights, abortion is a settled question, end of discussion.

We need to drive home the message that the fetus is a human being because eventually, one day, some journalist will ask the next logical question: don’t you care that abortion kills a human being? (Note to any journalists reading, none of you asked that question to a politician during the controversy over Motion M-312).

Of course, they will repeat the standard line: women’s rights trump fetal rights. And then the journalist will ask the next logical question: isn’t that a form of discrimination? Doesn’t that mean that not all human beings are equal?

The sub-text of all this is that poor-choicers don’t give a damn if a human being dies in the name of women’s empowerment.

The next thing to do is create political ferment. As I said, the MSM will not do the heavy lifting for us in terms of getting our message out there.

What I think needs to be done is make pro-life activism as grassroots as possible-- right up to the street level.

Right now, the model of pro-life activism is generally centralized. If you live in a big city-- where most Canadians live-- and you participate in pro-life activity, normally you have to go downtown or some other high traffic area away from where you live in order to get involved (the exception being LifeChain, but that’s once a year). So if you want to go to a Campaign Life meeting, that takes place downtown. 40 Days for Life? Takes place downtown. March for Life? Downtown.

Getting that far away from your home to go downtown when you have a busy family life isn’t always easy. You have to make the trip downtown, find parking, or else take the bus (which takes even longer), and sometimes find a babysitter.

What I had in mind was to create one pro-life group per federal electoral district. This way, it would be local activism, but also provide a means to galvanize the pro-life vote at election time. So instead of one centralized operation like Campaign Life trying to get pro-lifers to vote pro-life from afar, there would be people on the ground talking to the people they see regularly, asking them: hey, do you vote pro-life? Are you aware of this politician’s stand on abortion?

If we could create 308 of these pro-life associations, that would create a lot of ferment. Of course, they would not just be busy during election time, but in between elections, they would plan activities to educate people about the right to life.

Having the majority of people on one’s side is not enough. If people don’t see others making the right to life as an important issue, they won’t it seriously, either. But if they see lots of pro-lifers trying to make a difference, inch by inch, they will take pro-life issues seriously as an electoral issue.

We got the information out on the internet, we have media attention, now we need more foot soldiers on the ground. We need to talk to people, person to person.