Thinking outside the pro-life box

A few months ago, LifeSiteNews reported about the great success of the pro-life movement in Mexico:

In 2010, throughout Mexico, the National Pro-Life Committee’s operations saved 21,000 children from destruction at the hands of abortionists, who now enjoy the freedom to kill the unborn in Mexico City up to the 12th week of pregnancy. Since the Committee’s inception, over 149,000 children have been saved from abortion. (Source)

Those are some pretty impressive stats. So I took a peek at the website of the organization, called Comité Nacional Provida, to see if there’s anything we could learn for Canada and the US.

In Mexico, the Comité seems to combine both the educational arm of the pro-life movement and a network of crisis pregnancy centres. In Canada, educational activities are typically done by completely separate organizations from the crisis pregnancy centres. I’m not sure why it’s organized this way. I can see some advantages to the Mexican approach. Educational organizations typically have lots of resources about the fetus and other life issues, including DVDs, booklets, pamplets, books, magazines, etc. Pregnancy centres in Canada typically don’t have such extensive libraries, but they do have priceless expertise and experience in counselling and providing direct support to distressed women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Combining both services under the same roof seems like a powerful duo. Moreover, having a larger organization would also provide valuable economies of scale that could make service delivery more cost efficient, thus getting more bang for those donation bucks.

The Comité in Mexico also seems more active in helping young women understand the dignity of their sexuality, which reminds me of the Chastity Challenge movement. This makes a lot of sense to me. This past October, during the Life Chain initiative, I was standing in downtown Ottawa with a sign in my hand. A woman, who appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin, came up to me and kindly said: “Once the kids stop having sex before marriage, they’ll stop having abortions.” A very valid point.

The Comité also encourages parents to have open and constructive dialogues with their children about sexuality and life issues. This is another stroke of genius. Parents should be the primary educators of their children. They should also be closely involved in the lives of their children, especially when it comes to their dating relationships and sexual ethics. Too many families don’t dare talk about it because its kind of a taboo. Fostering this dialogue is a great idea.

The Comité does not appear to be involved in political advocacy, which is consistent with how we operate in Canada due to income tax restrictions.

Finally, the Comité has a precious tool at their disposal: mobile ultrasound equipment that they can use to show women their unborn child in the womb. This is a powerful image. The sound of the beating heart is also moving. Hopefully we can raise enough funds to equip our pro-life organizations with such equipment.

Overall, Mexico’s pro-life movement appears to be more intelligently organized than what we have in Canada. Perhaps Canadian pro-lifers need to rethink our approach. Maybe we could benefit from mergers between the educational groups and the crisis pregnancy centres. I encourage individuals involved in such organizations, whether as staff or board members, to consider the possibilities and think outside the box.

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