By Lisa Atkins, SFLA Northwest Regional Coordinator
I’ve heard rumors and seen proof of Planned Parenthood paying community members and students to show up to their events to get a large turnout in order to appear to the media that they are winning. There are many things wrong with this tactic, but the best part in hearing all of the ways that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are becoming increasingly more desperate, is I am encouraged even more that we are winning.
Last Friday morning I was informed of a House vote in Boise, Idaho that would take place only two days later regarding telemedicine abortions, early Monday morning. As much as I wanted to have a student presence, I was nervous that due to the last minute nature of inviting them, I wouldn’t have more than five students show up. And that was being optimistic.
I decided to follow through with the mobilization regardless of how many students showed up. I knew it was way too late to try to pull students from other states, so I mostly focused on my students in Idaho.
I called all of my student leaders in Idaho, hoping that I could just get a few to commit. At first I had a few who weren’t sure, but by the end of the night I had four students committed even though they had no idea who else from their groups could come. I was ok with only a few students coming because I only had six “I Am the Pro Life Generation” t-shirts left over from the mobilization in Olympia, Washington two weeks ago to give them. Because it was a weekend there was no time to ship them to arrive by Monday morning.
On Sunday evening I was making sure I had everything in order for the mobilization when I received a text from one of my students saying that three students from her youth group who attended other high schools in the area were going to join us. I then received another text from her that four more students wanted to join us, and then three more, and then one more. By the end of the night I had a headcount of seventeen students who would be joining us. I was so encouraged!
As amazing as this was, I still only had six “I Am the Pro-Life Generation” t-shirts to give them. We always try to wear these shirts when we go to a statehouse or hearing to make our presence known (the other side does the same thing). I looked through all of my resources and pro-life gear and found ten more pro-life shirts from Rock for Life that I could use. I figured any pro-life shirts would be better than no pro-life shirts.
When I arrived at the Capital on Monday morning to meet the students, I heard of four more students who would be joining us, and the numbers just kept growing! We arrived at the Capital a few hours early to get some lobbying done. As I was briefing all of our students, we had seven more students show up that had heard about our mobilization and wanted to join us. We walked downstairs to talk to some Senators about the bill knowing we would be lucky if any of them were around to talk to because they were all on their way to a hearing. As we were walking down the hall we ran into one Senator, and then another, and another. In a ten minute time frame we had the opportunity of talking to eight different Senators and show our support of the bill for when it reaches the Senate.
We then went upstairs to find some seats in the House Chamber for the vote on the bill. We had three more students join us at this point. By the time the House vote started, we
had 30 students representing the pro-life movement, and only one Planned Parenthood representative was present.
We didn’t need to pay these students to show up. I mean really, I didn’t even have enough free shirts to bribe them with! No, these students came because they are passionate, they care about life, and they were there to make a difference.
On Monday we showed Idaho that we are winning and that this generation of passionate young faces are not the future of the pro-life movement, we are the pro-life movement!