One Year at Illinois Right to Life: How Far We’ve Come and How We are Moving Forward!

It’s hard to believe it’s been one year since I first stepped off the Amtrak Hiawatha from Milwaukee for my first day at Illinois Right to Life. 

Thanks to the incredible work of my predecessor, Mary Kate Knorr, I’d been following Illinois Right to Life on social media for some time. I was impressed with the growing footprint of the organization and wondered if I was really up to the challenge of taking on the abortion industry in a state like Illinois. Over the past year, I’ve learned that, like every situation in life, it’s not really up to me. God has provided everything the organization has needed thus far.

Some examples?

  • I inherited an incredible staff. The small IRL team gets more done in a short amount of time than anyone else I have ever worked with. They are all completely dedicated to the cause of life and are not intimidated by the huge job in front of us.
  • Illinois Right to Life has amazing leadership. Under the guidance of President Rosemary Hackett, our board of directors is committed to standing up to the mighty Illinois abortion industry. They support the staff with the guidance and resources we need to succeed.
  • There is an incredible network of pro-life citizens around the state. As I’ve traveled across Illinois this year, I’ve learned that, at its core, Illinois is not a pro-abortion state. Pregnancy resource centers outnumber abortion clinics. A huge number of Illinoisans want to see innocent life protected. The pro-life citizens of Illinois are strong and determined.
  • Also strong are the many determined pro-life lawmakers in the Illinois legislature. The bravery they exhibit while standing in the face of the incredible evil of the abortion industry never ceases to amaze me. There are dozens of officials on the state and local levels who are holding the line against even more abortion extremity in the state.
  • Most of all, I am thankful for the many women who choose life in the face of immense pressure here in Illinois. I am thankful for our Project Love program that helps many of these women with the resources they need, and for our friends at pregnancy resource centers who are on the front lines helping these moms and babies.

Over the past year, God has also helped my team and I come up with a clear vision of what can help turn the tide for life in Illinois. First, strengthening our Project Love program and, in turn, contributing to the help pregnancy resource centers are able to provide to women in need. Second, educatiing the residents of our state so they can become truly aware of the extremity of our abortion laws and the humanity of preborn babies. Third, making Illinoisans aware of the stranglehold the abortion industry has on Illinois politics and how many legislators care more about doing the will of the abortion industry than protecting their constituents.

Why do we believe this will work? In my many years with Wisconsin Right to Life, a similar strategy was employed. Because of it, since the mid-nineties, the lives of nearly 300,000 preborn babies have been saved!

Illinois is, of course, very different from Wisconsin. The work here will be very hard. Change will not happen overnight. As one person told me, “this is a very heavy lift.” Although it won’t be easy and it won’t be fast, I believe we can save more lives in Illinois.

It is also critical that we work to change our state for life now. If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade next year—as many believe they will following the oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health—an abortion catastrophe awaits Illinois that s hard to fathom. The Alan Guttmacher Institute estimates the number of women traveling to our state for abortions could number in the millions! It is absolutely imperative the pro-life citizens of Illinois take action immediately!

There are many things Illinois Right to Life needs to win our state for life. We need more citizens to partner with us. We need more staff. We need far more financial resources. 

As God has provided for us in the past year, though, I have no doubt He will provide for us in the future if we trust and, most of all, follow His lead. This verse from Isaiah, chapter 41, was in my Bible readings this week: I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.”

This applies to every pro-life citizen in Ilinois. Don’t be afraid. The Lord will help us. He loves all of those babies and their mothers even more than we do!

Thank you for your support of Illinois Right to Life. Together, we can and we will win Illinois for life!