Last July our blog featured a post titled Can Pro-Life Groups Work Together? An excerpt:
I really don’t want to come across as mean-spirited towards some of the most passionate and (usually) loving people you’ll ever meet, but over these past five years I’ve witnessed disheartening and unnecessary passive aggressive conflict on a level of which I could not even have previously imagined possible in this movement! I’m guessing this is not something you usually see unless you dare to ask separate groups to consider working together in close proximity. When that happens, the gloves come off, let me tell you! …. It surprises me because theoretically it seems that there should not be this sort of conflict in a movement dedicated to non-violence, love, and acceptance of one another. It seems like we should be professional enough to handle our disagreements with integrity and open communication. Instead what I have witnessed has been a proverbial “Crabs in a Bucket”. It’s no wonder there’s paranoia in this movement.
So is it possible for pro-life groups to work together? How do we go about bridging the gaps that seem to somehow keep the pro-life movement from being united?
This last week it seems as though we need to be asking these questions all over again. Just this week we saw the passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 1797, in the House of Representatives. This caused a flurry of activity on the part of Pro-Life Advocates. As the legislation was amended and tweaked, changed and “watered down.” This caused consternation on the part of Pro-Life groups. It also sparked some very ugly infighting. So once again we feel compelled to ask, “Can Pro-Life Groups Work Together?” When push comes to shove it seems that the fist response of those within the pro-life activism world to any sort of pressure or differing opinion is to circle the wagons, protect what is theirs, and guard both donors and supporters jealously. This sort of attitude breeds bad blood between organizations and individuals that SHOULD be on the same side! Aren’t we all working towards the same goal? Aren’t we all supposed to be concentrating on bringing about a Culture of Life? How can that be accomplished when we are sidetracked by bickering, in-fighting, and a tug-of-war mentality? “A House divided cannot stand.” Those were wise words, and they apply to the Pro-Life Movement today.
Of course, it is easy to sit here and sing a verse of “Why Can’t we all Just Get Along” but we at Guiding Star actually have a solution. Its part of who we are. The whole idea behind a Guiding Star Center is based on collaboration between Pro-life and Pro-woman organizations, pooling resources, fundraising together, reducing the cost of overhead by sharing space within the Guiding Star Center, encouraging and supporting one another, instead of competing with one another for the same resources and donor base. We have seen amazing results when, for example, our Duluth Affiliate collaborated and worked together with – not against the other Pro-Life and Pro-woman organizations in their area. In fact, there was so much success from their latest joint fundraiser that one of the organizations received enough money to cover their yearly operating budget and then-some! There is something to be said for putting aside what we perceive as differences and focusing on the goal: A Culture of Life.
As we continue on our quest towards a Culture of Life we remind ourselves that we are an unique movement. We are actively working to “put ourselves out of business,” working towards the day when children will be safe in the womb, and women and their bodies will be respected and honored, and fatherhood a badge of dignity. We are working for the day when Planned Parenthood will be out of business and Guiding Star Centers will be the new norm for “Women’s Health and Family Care.” Until that day comes we at the Guiding Star Project are going to continue encouraging collaboration. Setting aside the differences we have, and concentrating on the prize – because we truly believe that Together we CAN “Light the Way to a Culture of Life. ”