Months of planning and watching the pennies have brought me here to St. Louis, or rather St. Charles, Missouri. The third annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference is a few hours away.
From the conference web site: This is a three day event by women and for women to proclaim that women’s empowerment cannot be attained by the oppression of other human beings. Many groups are represented: And Then There Were None, Feminists for Life, the Radiance Foundation, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Americans United for Life, and more.
The groups aren’t as important as the individuals here. Knowing that And Then There Were None is here is one thing. Listening to a woman who used to work in the abortion industry and who found ATTWN’s help in transitioning to other work is something else entirely.
This is a stretch for me, well off my beaten path. Same goes for many of the women I’ll be seeing shortly. My roommates are from Texas and Illinois. The Facebook virtual ride board for the event included posts from women driving from North Dakota and Florida, each willing to stop along the way to provide rides to prospective participants.
Why come? Why plunk down the credit card for airfare or gas and a hotel when there are needs closer to home that could use the resources?
To get out of my bubble – really, to have it burst by some of the most forthright pro-life women I’ve met or will soon meet, whose experiences are different from mine. To remind myself that there is more to life and the pro-life movement than what I can see in New Hampshire. To learn. To encourage and be encouraged. Finally, to report. Sometimes the best thing a blogger can do is simply be eyes and ears for people not on the scene.
Abby Johnson and And Then There Were None got the first conference rolling a couple of years ago on a beastly-hot glorious Dallas weekend. Last year, we were in Orlando. Now, it’s Missouri. Some of this weekend’s speakers have been involved all three conferences. I’m glad they’re back, since there’s no way to take in every breakout session at a given conference. I think I’d need a five-year cycle to hear them all.