A shining light in the pro-life movement, our incredible new executive director Amy Gehrke shares her story, and how she finally ended up in Illinois.
Her first pro-life memory is when her father suddenly announced he was going to start being more involved in the pro-life movement.
“I didn’t think working in the abortion movement was bad or anti-women, I just thought it was unnecessary,” Amy explained.
Looking back on this time, she realized that it couldn’t have been a more crucial time to be involved in the pro-life movement. The abortion rate was climbing exponentially in those years after the passage of Roe v. Wade, and her father was on the frontlines to help combat that.
Amy explains how tabling at fairs and other events in high school paved the way for her passion to defend life. Her father’s enthusiasm and tireless work on behalf of the pro-life movement is what brought her to where she is today. Every story I heard about women having an abortion, there was no “choice” and there was no “follow-up” according to Amy. This demeaning way of treating women and total misuse of the word “choice” pushed Amy to continue to fight for Life.
Spending most of her youth and young adulthood in Arkansas, Amy longed to move to a big city. That’s why she was beyond thrilled to obtain a job at National Right to Life, centered in the D.C. area.
This job led to others inside and outside the pro-life movement, with her latest employer being Wisconsin Right to Life. Because Illinois’ liberal abortion laws were a threat to women from Wisconsin, that danger was always on the minds of pro-lifers in Wisconsin. Because of this, as well as the danger Illinois poses to women from other surrounding states, Amy is excited to fight for life in Illinois.
“One of our goals here at Illinois Right to Life is to tell [women] the truth.” Amy’s goal is to help the women of Illinois believe that they are strong enough to have their child and pursue their dreams. They are strong enough and have the support to go through their pregnancy and still pursue schooling. Illinois Right to Life will show women that we are there for them when they most need it, and that they are stronger than the culture thinks they are.