Become an 1819 Member

Basic

$10.99/month

1819

$18.19/month

Premium

$50.99/month
Sign up

Recently, abortion-related news has been somewhat quiet in Alabama, but not around the rest of the country. At the federal level, it’s a waiting game to see if the Supreme Court will overturn Roe, but many states are still introducing bills during their legislative sessions, some pro-life and some pro-abortion.

Some states are fighting the same old fight. Florida has introduced a 15-week abortion ban. Kentucky just heard from the Supreme Court that their Attorney General can continue defending a blocked bill that attempts to ban dilation and evacuation as an abortion procedure.

The latest struggle is over the ease of accessibility for the abortion pill and contraceptives. You may have heard that the FDA ruled that there is no danger in receiving the abortion pill through the mail, and that this process, popularized by COVID restrictions, can continue. That’s despite the fact that abortion-pill-related emergency room visits are up 500% since 2002.

Georgia hit back by introducing a bill that requires in-person doctor visits to receive the abortion pill. This will supersede the FDA’s decision. The bill also stipulates that state-funded schools cannot provide the abortion pill on campuses - in other words, no tapping into your taxpayer dollars.

On the other side, Illinois has introduced a bill that would mandate emergency contraception vending machines on campuses. The reason? The bill’s sponsor said it is “to erase the stress of students.” I’m so glad I moved out of Illinois. That’s what my tax dollars were being used for - making sure students didn’t even have to walk to the nearest Walgreens to prevent pregnancy or end the life of their conceived child.

Obtaining the abortion pill through telemedicine is currently illegal in Alabama, thank goodness. But these bills represent a trend that is important for largely pro-life Alabamians to track.

As we await the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe, abortion supporters haven’t let up. Not even a little. In fact, they’re hitting even harder. But I’ve been alarmed to see that many pro-life supporters seem to be on vacation. Now, I’ve also been delighted to see how numerous pro-life states have fast-tracked laws banning abortion past a certain date, in hopeful expectation that states will soon have the final say (If Roe is overturned, abortion will not become illegal, but abortion legislation will again be in the hands of the states). But because the fight over abortion has taken place largely in the courts the past few years, the average pro-lifer seems to have put up their feet to watch the battle play out.

This attitude is understandable, especially with so many sensational stories bombarding us daily about crises both foreign and domestic. Abortion isn’t the hot topic these days - at least not among conservatives. It remains one of the largest priorities among liberals though. Do they make much money off of transgender issues? Maybe some, but not the millions they see from Planned Parenthood campaign donations. As conservatives hold their breath, abortion supporters are arming themselves tooth and nail.

For instance, in Connecticut, legislators intend to include a “right to abortion” in their state constitution, likely in an attempt to undermine future pro-life regulations. They have been planning for how to keep abortion legal even if Roe is overturned. They’ll be ready in case pro-life legislation is introduced in their state. They’ve followed Vermont’s example. Part of me is amused that by introducing this “right” explicitly, they’re admitting it doesn’t already exist implicitly at either a federal or state level. But I’m more alarmed by how far ahead abortion advocates are thinking. They aren’t waiting. They’re pouring time, energy, money, and foresight into continuing the murder of unborn children.

Are you pro-life? Have you shown even a fraction of this dedication? I know I haven’t. While I’m reactive, praying or researching topics once I see abortion-related news, they are proactive.

Are we prepared? What will happen in Alabama if this summer abortion becomes illegal following a fetal heartbeat?

Will life just go on as normal? Will we heave a collective sigh of relief and then relax, our job done?

But our job won’t be over. It’ll just be getting started, but I don’t think churches are ready for a flood of single mothers, scared fathers, and potentially surrendered children. Are our communities ready? Do we have resources in place or will we legitimately come under the attack that we’re “pro-birth, not pro-life?”

Before Texas passed their controversial law enabling citizens to sue one another over abortions, they passed $100M in aid to pregnancy resource centers, maternity shelters, and similar non-profits. They knew that their sudden abortion ban would result in a rush of abandoned, often economically struggling women, who would need help to care for their babies. Meanwhile in Alabama, do we have any intention of putting our money where our mouth is? Or are women just going to fly to the nearest abortion-supporting state?

Now, I entirely understand the hesitance when it comes to handing out government checks to solve economic problems. In Texas’ case, they got around it by allocating the funds to non-profit organizations who could choose best how to use the funds to support mothers and children, thus skirting the welfare mom problem. 

State Rep. Terri Collins, the sponsor of the Human Life Protection Act, has said that she supports a child tax credit as an alternative way of supporting mothers who keep their children. But during this legislative session, I hear crickets about anything abortion-related, despite the Supreme Court’s impending decision. Do we really think the heartbeat law is enough?

Now I know that Alabama does in fact have many programs in place which support single mothers. Right here in North Alabama, we have two pregnancy resource centers that offer parenting classes, free baby clothes, diapers, and more. We have several branches of a group called Embrace Grace, which partners with local churches to invite expecting or single mothers into a church community who will help care for her and her child. Have you heard of singlemothergrants.org? They connect women with scholarships and resources that can help them pay electric bills.

There are groups on college campuses too. Much harm has come out of the false rhetoric that abortion supports women’s rights. But one good thing has resulted - even stringently pro-life youth have switched their focus to helping pregnant women. Most of the organizations founded by younger generations, like Students For Life, reach out directly to young women who are abortion-vulnerable, offering them practical support, and showing them love rather than condemnation.

There are resources out there. But are they enough? Have we crunched the numbers, analyzed the programs, budgets or donations, and asked if it's sufficient? If we haven’t even asked, there’s no way we’re prepared to introduce new resources. It’s past time that different facets of the pro-life movement got together and communicated. If legislators, lawyers, and those organizing grants don’t speak to the college girls who are taking their friend down to the abortion clinic, and vice versa, how will we know if we’re hitting the mark and planning properly for the future?

You may wonder why abortion is on my mind this week as Ukrainians struggle for their lives and country, and as our economy - barely back on its feet again post-COVID - takes fresh hits. Well, as of Wednesday, we’re one week into a worldwide 40-day pro-life prayer vigil. This could be the largest effort of collective prayer we’ll see preceding the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe. I also know that the more we pray, the more the devil fights our efforts and throws other conflicts in our face to deter or distract us.

The bomb is counting down. Maybe four months, three months, the days inch closer. Abortion supporters are rushing about, decking themselves out in protective gear, trying to cut the wire. Pro-lifers are sitting on their porch, watching the timer with fingers crossed. But the time to act is now! It’s time to pray, to prep, to crunch the numbers and see if you can donate to your local nonprofits or invite a single mom to your church.

This is what will make the difference long term in saving and changing lives. I hope to see Alabamians, courageous and principled, up to the good fight.

Caylah Coffeen is a Millennial in Huntsville, AL who knows how to think and speaks up for the sake of truth and a future as bright as the stars. Her column appears every Friday in 1819 News. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

Become an 1819 Member

Sign up