The New Pro-Life Surge
When pro-choice groups can't get bills passed at the state level, they look for local municipalities where they can get propositions passed, Delahoyde said.
Care Net prepares their centers for the legislation, she said. "We send our public relations and legal people on the road. We provide a united front at the state house, and that's very effective."
Alliance Defense Fund also provides legal help through hundreds of attorneys connected to local pregnancy centers, she said.
"We train extensively," Delahoyde said. "We are pressing forward. Look, there are so many encouraging signs. The pro-choice brand is eroding."
When Tryon gave birth to her second baby in December 1992, she was part of a trend. U.S. teen pregnancy rates had swelled to their all-time high—almost 12 percent of teenage girls—in 1990, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Abortion rates peaked at the same time, with 1.4 million abortions performed in 1990, according to the CDC. Public support of abortion was also high, with 56 percent of Americans labeling themselves pro-choice, according to Gallup. Just 33 percent self-identified as pro-life.
Some 20 years after Tryon was a pregnant teenager, the pendulum is swinging the other way. She is now an articulate leader at a pregnancy center, wife of a worship pastor, and mother of three school-age children.
"As a teenager, finding myself in an unplanned pregnancy was scary at best. Thankfully, I turned to a pregnancy resource center that provided not only free and confidential services to me, but treated me in a fair and professional manner, provided me life-giving options when I needed them most, and eased my fears," she testified before an Oregon Senate committee.
"My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever changed the minute I called on them for help. After being educated about all of my options, I chose an adoption plan that not only gave my baby a hope and a future, but it also gave it to me.
"It is devastating to think that the vital services I received so many years ago could be torn from those that so desperately need them today. I urge you to vote 'No' on this bill."
That bill in Oregon never came to a vote. But neither did another bill calling for a ban on abortions after 19 weeks.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra is a journalist based in the Chicago area.
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