By Mary Carmen Zakrajsek, Indiana Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America
Yesterday afternoon, I took high school students with me to downtown Indianapolis to do some pro-life door knocking. It was hot and humid, and people were just getting home from work.
Ben Ice, senior high school student and co-president of Westfield Students for Life, knocked on a door, just like many others, to promote free, pregnancy resource information in our area. This door happened to be the home of a Sunday school teacher. She identified as pro-choice.
While she was “personally” pro-life, she explained to him that she didn’t want to tell women what to do with their bodies.
Pause. Science tells us that there are two bodies. There are two human individuals in every situation when a woman becomes pregnant: herself and her child. “Did you know that the child’s heartbeat can be detected as early as 21 days after conception?” Ben asked.
The woman had no idea. “21 days?” she repeated.
Just three weeks after conception, the baby’s heart starts beating. Many women don’t even know they are pregnant this early on. Upon hearing this, she confessed that the thought of stopping the heartbeat of a child made her uncomfortable.
She then went on to share that her own daughter got pregnant at age sixteen, and that she was able to be there to support her daughter and help her choose life.
She then asked what kind of resources we were handing out and we explained the goal of why we were out there: to compassionately support women in unexpected pregnancies and make it easier for mothers, like her daughter, to choose life for their children. She liked that a lot.
She still said that she didn’t want to control other people’s behavior, but when questioned why she wouldn’t speak out against stopping a human heart, she said she hadn’t thought about it that way before and decided she is pro-life! Not only that, but she also asked for a pro-life yard sign to hang in her front window!
After an afternoon conversation on the doorstep, this Sunday school teacher changed her position on abortion.
Why? Because someone had the courage to come to her doorstep. Someone had the courage to be the visible face of the pro-life movement. And that person can be you.
That same day, we happened to knock on the door of Pendleton Pike High School’s Health Director. She was so intrigued by what we were doing and asked for any resources she could give to pregnant students that might visit her in the high school’s health center. When we explained the ugly health violations of Planned Parenthood, she gladly took a whole stack of Standing With You info cards to give to her co-workers too!
This is why we door knock. This is why we care about spreading life affirming alternatives! Real people are impacted by our efforts. Real minds are changed on the issue of abortion. Real resources are distributed that help women choose life on a high school or college campus.
I remember my first time going into a neighborhood to door knock with my resources in hand, nervous thinking about what to say and how to respond. I remember feeling discouraged when no one would answer, and intimated when someone did.
But as I spoke to more people that day― women who were post-abortive, moms who were struggling financially, people unaware of free pregnancy help ― I quickly realized that door knocking wasn’t about me.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” – Benjamin Franklin.
I was door knocking for women. Young, abortion-vulnerable women who don’t know what resources are available to help them embrace an unplanned pregnancy. Women my age who are directly targeted by the abortion industry and feel like death is the only option for their child. I had to decide: was I going to let them be targeted because I was afraid of knocking on their door?
That’s when it clicked. It didn’t matter my awkwardness, my discomfort, or my fear of rejection. Something more important – the lives of innocent preborn children and the potential heartbreak & injury of their mothers – mattered far more than those insecurities. This was something tangible, measurable, and active that I could be doing right now in my community.
Sign up to join YOUR city’s campaign for Abortion Free Cities and learn how you can become an advocate for women, children, and the pro-life movement right now!