Essentials: The Right to
Life Chapter, Backbone of the Movement
By Jonathan Rogers
Turner Movie Classics offers
a program every weekend called The Essentials. For movie buffs,
watching the films is, well, essential.
The Pro-Life Movement has
its own essentials, the kind we can not do without. For us those
essentials begin with the creation and maintenance of local
chapters. They are our lifeline. They make everything possible.
Chapters are as old as the
Right to Life Movement. When something is as enduring as the
pro-life chapter, it must be performing absolutely "must"
activities. As we move forward, rebounding from passage of ObamaCare,
everything begins with cultivating the essentials--the basics--which
is the local chapter.
So what is a Right to Life
Chapter? It is first and foremost an organic part of a local
community. It is not grafted onto the community, it grows out of it.
At its most essential, the chapter works to make sure that every
individual it touches becomes part of a pro-life culture and that
the entire community will, at a minimum, be exposed to the
life-affirming pro-life message as often as possible.
So why is that important? If
we focus on our pro-life chapters and groups and make them as
effective as possible, with as wide a reach through the community as
possible, then the next time a key legislative issue confronts the
nation, with implications for our Movement, we will speak with even
greater authority on behalf of the unborn and innocent.
But, you say, you or your
groups are newcomers. You got involved because of ObamaCare and you
want to make a difference.
Okay, let's begin at the
If you're a new chapter, or
interested in starting a chapter, the first question you are likely
to ask is: What must I do to make a difference for the unborn and
the medically fragile elderly? Glad you asked. Here are six things
every chapter can and should be doing right now! If you are not
doing them and need help, well that's why NRLC's State
Organizational Development Department is here. Call me at (202)
626-8809 or e-mail me at
1. Make sure you're signed
up for NRLC's Hot List (http://www.nrlc.org/join_our_mailing_list.htm)
of important announcements and alerts. If you tweet or use Facebook,
we'd love to hear from you; connect with us at
and see if you can get 10 people you know to join you. Keep an eye
www.nationalrighttolifenews.org, and Today's News & Views (http://www.nrlc.org/News_and_Views/)
for the latest and best information on the Pro-Life Movement. With
the best information around, you can confidently educate those
2. We know that times are
tough, but a donation to NRLC, if you are able, is one of the most
cost-effective charitable gifts around.
3. Circulate the petition!
You can download it at
http://stoptheabortionagenda.com/downloads/, or call me at (202)
626-8809 or e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you copies. Petitions are the
single best way to find other pro-lifers in your community. It also
gives you an opportunity to talk to those who perhaps don't know
what's at stake. The more people you identify, the larger your reach
as a group or individual.
4. Update your contact
lists. Make sure either you or someone in your group keeps a growing
list of pro-life individuals in your area. Phone trees and e-mail
lists are indispensible for spreading the word on important
legislative alerts or local events.
5. Contact local churches to
see if they're receiving the important pro-life information like our
e-mail alerts, factsheets, or articles. Perhaps they would like to
sign the petition. If they would like copies of our bulletin
inserts--excellent educational materials for a Sunday service--call
or write us to order.
6. In some ways the most
important tip is: Go where the people are. Each and every local
community is unique. Your success may well depend on knowing what
makes your community special. Find ways to spread the pro-life
message in your community, such as at local county fairs or
Right to Life chapters have
been the foundation of the Movement from the beginning. We may get
caught up in the worry of recent issues like health care, but
temporary setbacks must always be seen in light of the great gains
of the Movement.
We are sitting in a position
of strength thanks to the tireless efforts of chapters and hundreds
of thousands of individual pro-lifers. I can't even imagine how much
stronger yet we'll be in another 30 years.
But I look forward to it.
Race you there.