The Roe Tour is continuing to travel across the US to courageous student groups!!!
Our team at Students for Life (SFLA) comes up with a lot of fun and edgy ideas. I still remember sitting around the table at the SFLA office when we started brain storming about creating a display that would allow us to challenge the abortion myths that we need to keep abortion legal because abortion helps women. From that conversation the Roe Display was born. Nine months later, my car stuffed to the brim with the Roe Display, I was on the road heading to test out this display on one of Oregon’s most liberal campuses – Oregon State University.
I have to be honest, I don’t like controversy just for the sake of controversy, and I was a little bit worried about what we might encounter that day. I love dialogue, I love making people think, and I love challenging misconceptions. I was hoping the display would do all of this, but I wasn’t sure because I hadn’t been able to test it myself.
The display itself was intimidating to me. The 13 panels listed all the ways that abortion hurts women. We have panels that talk about how abortion hurts women, we have panels that show the faces of the abortionists and we even have a panel with an autopsy photo of a woman killed by abortion. How would students respond to this display? Would they just think we were being sensationalist? To top it off, the weather report called for an entire week of rain!!!
But when you’re a pro-life activist you have to be willing to try new things because you know that you have to make people think about abortion if you’re ever going to change their minds! And I knew one thing for certain, no matter what kind of response we experienced, we were going to be out on the front lines making the campus think and talk about abortion in a way they had never done before. So, we set up the display and started passing out postcards.
Then it happened!!! The first woman stopped by to look at the display and she told us she was post abortive. This was exactly what I had been on the lookout for. How would she respond to the display? Would she yell at us? Would she say we were exaggerating??? I was prepared for everything, except for what happened… She didn’t yell…She stayed and talked.
As she talked, she said things that made me realize the power of the Roe Display. She said she appreciated the fact that we were educating people and that we were asking how abortion affects women. She said she was concerned about the fact that there was no oversight or regulations on abortion in Oregon. She said she was pro-choice, but the she also admitted that she’d had her abortion because there were no other options. She said she didn’t feel there were any resources for her to continue her pregnancy when she got pregnant and she ended by thanking us for drawing attention to that with our display. Wow!!!
This became a common theme over the four days that the Roe tour traveled across Oregon. I had woman after woman tell me and the other students on our campuses that they themselves had had abortions, or their mom’s had, or their friends had because they hadn’t had support. One of the best things about the display was the chance to offer healing resources to women.
I wasn’t the only one having good dialogue with this display. The student clubs were also experiencing awesome conversations. Watch this video to see the Oregon State Vice President talk about her experience with the display that day:
As the day continued we had other great conversations with many undecided students. Many students thanked me for the information. Students told us that they liked the educational aspect, that they were thankful for new facts no matter what side of the issue they were coming from, and that they thought the display was professional.
The students at Corban University put out a comment box on their campus. You can some of the responses that they got back from the students on their campus:
Check out the latest student response from UCLA:
The best thing about the Roe Display was that in created a bridge to talk to people and to open dialogue. We all know that abortion would still be morally wrong even if it helped women, but we have to attack the lies and myths around abortion and engage people compassionately where they are at. This display allows us to do that. Over and over again, I got the chance to change people’s minds on abortion because I started with addressing how abortion affects women and then transitioned the conversation into asking how abortion hurts the other human being involved, the baby.
So today, I’d like to challenge your group to consider bringing the Roe Display to your campus. Give your selves a chance to learn how to dialogue about abortion and engage people! It’s okay to be intimidated, we can train you. Let your campus know how abortion hurts women. This display is one of the best dialogue tools I have ever used. You have to start the conversation about abortion in order to change minds and save lives!