Never forget that we are not playing to the galleries. We are
witnesses to the truth. We are playing to the angels, and to Him who
made the angels. If this movement was reduced, as another movement
once was, to a dozen frightened people in a dark room, the cause would
still be right, and the cause would still go on. The truth of what we
do is not measured by the numbers we gather.
Congressman Henry J. Hyde.
Introduction to Pro-Life Strategies and Tactics.
Tactics are used to win individual battles, while strategies are
employed to win the war. An effective strategy consists of a melding of
all of the tactics that experience has revealed are useful in various
It is essential to remember that all organizations and tactics are
important in the winning of any war. The front-line troops cannot
degrade or ridicule the rear-echelon supply personnel, because no army
can win a war without equipment and supplies. Likewise, the support
people can't assume an air of superiority either; the fighting troops
are necessary for victory.
We must all work together in the unending war against abortion and
euthanasia. Any energy expended in sniping at each other is that much
less energy that can be spent fighting the real enemy. Every
organization is vital for victory, from National Right to Life to
Operation Rescue. There is a place for everyone and every skill
imaginable in the pro-life movement.
Our tactics may differ, but our ultimate objective is the same: VICTORY!
And that is all that counts!
Final Victory When?
The abortion fight, as vicious and protracted as it may seem, is not
entirely a war between pro-life and anti-life activists, but merely a
tiny portion of the endless battle between the spirits of good and evil
that has been continuously waged since Satan and his fellow rebellious
angels were thrown out of Heaven. There will be no final victory until
Our Lord wills it.
Until that wonderful day, there will only be temporary advantages
that occasionally accrue to each 'side.' And the current advantage will
always be to those who mobilize the most persons and assets for their
cause, on both the grassroots and elite levels.
Roe v. Wade was a temporary and totally unexpected advantage for
the anti-life forces.
Those who advocate the merciless killing of the helpless or
inconvenient will always be with us. There will always be abortion.
There will always be euthanasia. And there will also always be those who
are committed to fighting these evils directly.
In 1775, the first Abolitionist group was founded by Benjamin
Franklin and Benjamin Rush. The Abolitionists faced a long, hard
battle that lasted nearly a century. Pro-life activists must be prepared
to undertake essentially the same task, a task that may take even centuries
because, even if abortion is completely outlawed, there will always be
pro-abortionists and women who need help.
Chapters 26 and 27 describe the various components of an effective
local or national pro-life strategy for victory, and Chapter 28 covers
the basics of pro-life leadership. Figure 25-1 depicts the overall
pro-life strategy and its basic components.
OUTLINE OF GENERAL PRO-LIFE STRATEGY FOR VICTORY
Fronline Activites (Chapter 26)
Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Support Activities (Chapter 27)
References: Pro-Life Strategy for Victory.
 Congressman Henry J. Hyde. "Welcoming the Stranger: A
Bicentennial Reflection." Human Life Review, Summer 1987,
pages 10 and 11.
 The Vancouver [Washington] Columbian. April 11, 1989, page
Further Reading: Pro-Life Strategy for Victory.
Pastor John O. Anderson with Doug Brendel. Cry of the
Innocents: Abortion and the Race Towards Judgment.
South Plainfield, New Jersey: Bridge Publishing. 1984, 185 pages.
Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174.
Telephone: (703) 586-4898. Scriptural background on sin in America and
the parallels between our society and the Israel of Hosea's time make
this book frightening and motivating reading. The killing of God's most
innocent creations is a heinous sin that cries out to God for vengeance.
Using the story of the prophet Hosea as a model, the author warns that
God will withhold his vengeance upon this nation if we, as individuals
and a people, stop our twin sins of sexual immorality and the shedding
of innocent blood; but, if we persist, the wrath of God is inevitable
and it will also be directed towards those who stood by and did nothing.
If your pastor is sitting on the fence or thinking of getting involved,
this is the book that he should read. Pastor Anderson also has a
"Cry of the Innocents" videotape, and he is available for
presentations. Write to John O. Anderson, Post Office Box 152, Klamath
Falls, Oregon 97601.
Dave Andrusko (editor). A Passion for Justice.
National Right to Life Committee, 419 7th Street NW, Suite 500,
Washington, DC 20004. 1988, 160 pages. This is one of an excellent
continuing series of National Right to Life Committee books that
summarize the preceding year in the courts and legislatures, and look
ahead to future years.
Michael W. Cuneo. Catholics Against the Church: Anti-Abortion
Protest in Toronto, 1969-1985.
University of Toronto Press, 1989, 221 pages. The author traces the
history and sociology of the Canadian pro-life movement as it battles
the most liberal Church hierarchy in the world. The author is not
writing from the pro-life viewpoint, but his insights will be valuable
for American pro-life strategists. A detailed recounting of the battle
over the illegal but government-protected Morgentaler clinics is also
Thomas A. Glessner. Achieving an Abortion-Free American By 2001.
Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1990, 281 pages. The director of
the Christian Action Council traces the history of the destruction of
protection for the unborn in this country and outlines a political and
legislative strategy for rebuilding it. The book has good emphasis on
attacking and defunding Planned Parenthood. Appendix D is Marvin
Olasky's very useful analysis of the abortophile public relations
campaign against crisis pregnancy centers.
Thomas G. Klasen. A Pro-Life Manifesto.
Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, Good News Publishers, 1988.
160 pages. Reviewed by John Hinshaw in the March 1989 issue of Fidelity
Magazine. Mr. Klasen asserts that the pro-life movement is laboring
under false assumptions and using less than optimal strategies. Although
some of his assumptions are weak, he rightly demands that the Movement
use the power of aborted women and to console them in its campaign to
stop abortion. He proposes a series of "mourning centers" in
large cities where women could go to mourn their dead preborn babies.
The author says that we must recognize the silent victims of the
American Holocaust before we can heal as individuals and as a nation.
J.R. Lucas. Weeping In Ramah.
1987. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia
24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. A fictional account of how life would
be in the future if the anti-life forces gain complete control of
society (this book is the pro-life answer to the pro-abort fiction The
Handmaid's Tale). Describes how the nationally-based pro-life groups
have been neutralized and how a small but determined pro-life
underground risk and lose their lives in their struggle to save babies.
This is prophecy unless we can mobilize!
Marvin Olasky. Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in
Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. 1992, 318 pages. Reviewed
by George Grant in the December 1992 issue of the Life Advocate.
An emphasis on the 19th-century pro-life movement and a recommendation
that we "stigmatize and contain" the horror of abortion today
instead of trying to absolutely eliminate the killing of preborn
Professor Charles E. Rice. 50 Questions on Abortion,
Euthanasia, and Related Issues.
Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia
24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This book examines the tactics and
approaches used by the pro-life movement to fight abortion and
euthanasia, and the various sources and causes of conflict between
individuals and organizations within the Movement. Every activist and
pro-life group should use this book as an aid to examining their
attitudes toward the issues and toward their fellow activists.
Professor Charles E. Rice. No Exceptions: A Pro-Life Imperative.
Tyholland Press, Box 212, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556. 1990, 131 pages. A
truly outstanding examination of the basic pro-life moral arguments
against abortion. Pro-life direct and support activities are also
described in some detail. Recommended for all new pro-life activists,
and those veterans who want to redefine and sharpen their debating
Joe Scheidler. Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion.
350 pages, sewn softcover. Order from Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland
Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528, or from Keep the Faith, 810 Belmont
Avenue, Post Office Box 8261, North Haledon, New Jersey 07508,
telephone: (201) 423-5395. This book, written by the head of Chicago's
Pro-Life Action League, is useful for the street activist. It doesn't
map out a complete local or area strategy, but is instead a
conglomeration of tactics that may be used in specific situations.
Right to Life Educational Trust Fund.
RTL publishes a set of nine booklets by Carl Landwehr that outline an
effective, unified strategy for stopping abortion in your town. The
titles of the booklets, all of which are clearly written and are full of
valuable information, accurately describe their contents. You may order
these booklets separately or as a group from: National Right to Life
Educational Trust Fund, 419 7th Street, NW, Suite 402, Washington, D.C.
20044, or from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia
24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898.
(a) "Right to Life Grassroots Organizing."
Thorough but simple guide for the organizing of new pro-life
groups or the revival of old groups. Dedicated to the principle that
success comes from organizing properly.
(b) "I'm Pro-Life, But What Can I Do?
A basic primer that shows how everyone has talents that the pro-life
movement can use.
(c) "Understanding the Pro-Life Movement and Grassroots
How to use the many indigenous resources available in your
community to accomplish pro-life goals without going to a lot of
(d) "Changing Attitudes on Abortion: Pro-Life Education
How to use the media, advertising, publicity, and displays to
reach large numbers of people with the pro-life message.
(e) "Pro-Life Legislation: How to Win!"
How to get pro-life legislators into office at the local and state
(f) Keep the Pro-Life Issue Alive: Use Media Events."
How to stage newsworthy events in order to keep the American
Holocaust in the eye of the American public.
(g) "Involving Your Church in the Right to Life
How to involve your congregation and, even more importantly, your
pastor in pro-life activism.
(h) "Successful Fund Raising."
How to raise large amounts of money for pro-life activities by
putting on events that catch people's interest.
(i) "Motivating Your Group."
How to select the proper people for the proper jobs. Certain
personalities do best when given particular tasks.
Jan Sutter. Slinging Ink: A Practical Guide to Producing
Booklets, Newspapers, and Ephemeral Publications.
Paperback, Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton,
Virginia 24174. Telephone: (703) 586-4898. A short course in journalism
for pro-life activists who would like to publish and distribute
professional-looking and attractive newsletters, newspapers, brochures
and pamphlets. The book covers all aspects of self-publication,
including layout, photography, writing, organization, and printing.
Sun Tzu. The Art of War.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. This classic book was
written more than 3,500 years ago, but it remains the absolute last word
on basic strategy and tactics.
© American Life League BBS 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia,
published by American Life League.