Our community outreach season has drawn to a close, and we are happy to report that it was a great year to be advocating for the pro-life cause and representing People for Life all around the Erie-area.
People seem to be more alarmed than ever before about the direction our country is headed. But they have by no means given up hope for the future.
The 2023 season included outreach booths at: the Lake City Fire Company Carnival, Waterford Heritage Days, Dan Rice Days, and the three fairs at Wattsburg, Waterford, and Albion. The number of events was down this year, due to several unavoidable contingencies. We hope to do better next year, when the human life issues will be front and center because of the presidential election.
The mission of our community outreach program is multifaceted. There are always young people who need to learn the basics about human development and the evils of abortion. Occasionally, although not frequently, there are adults who don't understand our point of view but are genuinely open to considering what we have to say. Perhaps most adults have opinions that are set in concrete, but there are some who are still ambivalent or undecided.
Many of our visitors who do consider themselves pro-life are not fully up to speed on the current challenges we are facing. This year, we focused on the topic of chemical abortion. We collected signatures on a petition to the big three pharmacy corporations, who have indicated their willingness go distribute the Mifepristone abortion drug. We also offered literature with background information about Mifepristone. Governor Shapiro's shocking move to de-fund our pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies, and maternity homes was also on our radar. We handed out hundreds of flyers asking everyone to contact the governor's office and their state senator and representative to insist that the Real Alternatives program, which channels state funds to these worthy services, be continued.
Our booths equip our pro-life friends and neighbors to be more vigorous pro-life advocates. We offer some very powerful pro-life car stickers and magnets, vote pro-life yard signs, 3-month fetal models, many other promotional items, and of course many timely and attractive literature selections.
We believe, however, that the most important thing that the booths accomplish is simply to "main stream" the pro-life message, taking it out among the general public where it belongs--claiming the public square for the pro-life cause, if you will. By distributing hundreds of "I love life" balloons, we claim not only the small footprint where out booth is located, but the entire real estate of each particular venue. Frequently, people see the balloons circulating, for instance, the fairgrounds, and they make a special effort to search out the pro-life booth. It is truly heartening to see how many hundreds, no thousands, of parents and grandparents unreservedly say, "yes" when offered free pro-life balloons for their kids. The price of helium has gone through the roof, but we still believe the balloons easily double or triple the effectiveness of our outreach efforts.
We cannot mention the balloons without giving due credit to our fetal model display. We use a set of high-quality scientific fetal models from Germay, and also a fun set of soft polyurethane "Touch of Life" models that most everyone loves to touch and handle. The models, balloons notwithstanding, are truly the centerpiece of our pro-life booths.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are always part of our presentation, too. Thankfully, the specter of deliberate killing at the end of life has not been an immediate threat to Pennsylvania. That day may come, however. There are forces in our state that are constantly pushing in that direction.