The Reversal of Roe Inspired This SFLA Fellow to Start a Campaign for Abortion Free Cities Initiative in Her Town

Caroline Wharton - 16 Jan 2023
Guest post by SFLA Wilberforce Fellow Gwen Goetter

GUEST POST: I had the honor of standing in front of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) of America on Friday, June 24, 2022. I was in Washington, D.C. for the National Leadership Collective (NLC), and the Wilberforce fellowship I was a part of, along with some of the SCOTUS Squad, was chosen to be a pro-life presence on a possible Dobbs v. Jackson decision day. 

Looking back, no one knew that was the day the official decision was going to be released.  Filled with excitement, I stood tall amidst all the opposition, and not long after arriving, I vividly remember Students for Life of America (SFLA) President Kristan Hawkins reading the official decision. Tears of joy streamed from my eyes when I realized what an impact this would have on our country and the thousands of lives that would be saved.  

Later that day, I remember thinking to myself how amazing it was that my fellowship — out of the many that were at NLC — got chosen to be there in that exact moment. I remember feeling called to really do something big for my year-long fellowship project. It was then that I had the idea to start a Campaign for Abortion Free Cities group in the city I go to school: Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  

Goetter tabling at a local church

Starting the campaign was a rollercoaster. The first order of business was to propose the idea to my SFLA Regional Coordinator Matt Murphy and my fellowship advisor Norvilia Cain — and then to my SFLA group, of course. I wasn’t going to be able to do it alone! Thanks to the support of all these amazing people, I was able to get the ball rolling. 

I began reaching out to local churches and training our members on door-knocking strategies. To be honest, this process was a little lengthy for our group, but all it really took for us to get things moving was determination. Our group has since participated in several local door-knocking days and tabled on our campus and at churches.  

Campaign for Abortion Free Cities Community Organizer Mary Curtis said:  

SFLA’s Campaign for Abortion Free Cities has opened so many opportunities for community members of all ages to get engaged at a level that they may have never imagined possible. While the goal is to make abortion both unavailable and unthinkable in each community, we know that the foundation of each campaign is educating the community on the amazing resources available. 

We also want communities to reconsider (and ultimately break) their trust in the abortion industry by shifting public opinion on abortion. Working with pro-life candidates in the community to pass pro-life legislation is also a priority. Gwen is a wonderful example of how a local community member can have a huge impact and she continues to show that No Woman Stands Alone! 

The positive conversations we have had with students and members of our community have positively impacted myself and other leaders in the campaign. You may have heard before that the fight for life can be accomplished through winning the culture back — and that is done through everyday conversations that we have with our classmates and neighbors. The campaign we are working on is all about changing hearts and offering genuine love and support to those in need. 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Do small things with great love.” I know that I may not land my name in a history book, but I do know that I have an opportunity to save preborn lives and support mothers who are scared and in vulnerable positions. These “small” things we can do to help others are the actions that are winning over the culture. As a community, I feel we have a profound opportunity to spread light on the pro-life message and advocate for the resources that save lives.   

READ NEXT: Notre Dame’s Pro-Life Students Have Been Busy Helping Women and Protecting the Preborn 

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