The annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington is always interesting, and it’s been known to include some pro-life panels. Now and then, even a marquee speaker will say something encouraging. The most constructive conversations and connections, for anyone interested in pro-life media and politics, occur in the breakout sessions in the side rooms, away from the huge mainstage ballroom. This year’s conference was no exception.
“Changing Hearts and Minds in the Pro-life Movement” was tucked away in one of those side rooms, in the last time slot of the day. (Always read your conference agenda through to the end.) The panel was made up of a pair of political folk, an entertainer, and a worker in a front-line pro-life nonprofit agency about as far from politics as can be. And in that high-powered company (by CPAC standards), it was the guy from the front lines who left the deepest impression.
Jeff Gilbert of Save the Storks was on the speakers’ platform. His organization adapts vans into mobile units where women can obtain pregnancy resources and no-cost ultrasounds. The vans are designed to be used by pregnancy resource centers anywhere they’re needed, even near abortion facilities. Save the Storks has just launched its 33rd bus. (One of them visited New Hampshire last year to demonstrate a unit’s capabilities.)
Jeff had a no-doubt answer about how his project has changed hearts and minds: it builds one relationship at a time, where a woman is seeking aid. “We showed up. We didn’t just pass her on to someone else.”
The people who came to hear the panel sat up and took notice when Jeff talked about Save the Storks. This was not a typical political-conference speaker, and hardly anyone in the room had ever heard of Save the Storks. The agency seemed to have stepped way out of its zone to come to CPAC to reach people who might not otherwise have heard about its mission and message. Continue reading ““Authentic Love” is louder than words”