During the most recent district work period, I had the opportunity to participate in two pro-life roundtable events with faith-based nonprofit groups in Montgomery and Dothan. As I have said countless times, I consider it my enduring responsibility as a member of Congress to be a voice for the voiceless. While I am very grateful for the platform I have and the opportunities it provides for me to stand up for life at every stage, I am even more grateful for the men and women fighting this battle on the front line each and every day.
In Montgomery, our event was hosted by First Choice Women’s Medical Center, and several local groups participated, including Agape of Central Alabama, Life on Wheels, COPE Pregnancy Center, and the Gift of Life Foundation. In Dothan, we were hosted by Wiregrass Hope Group, and participating groups included Lifeline Adoption Agency, Catholic Social Services, Ozark and Enterprise Pregnancy Centers, and the Forever Families Foundation. I sincerely appreciate every individual and organization that participated in these conversations. We are all working for the same cause – just in different capacities.
These two roundtable discussions gave me a unique chance to hear firsthand from those working directly in the pro-life medical and adoption fields to learn more about their successes and the challenges they face each day in the fight for life. During both roundtables a couple of common themes emerged that I’d like to share.
Many of the participants expressed that a problem they face each day, whether they work for a medical center, an adoption agency, or otherwise is the lack of available, accurate information about adoption. The groups agreed that expectant mothers and fathers who are at the crossroad between choosing life or having an abortion might be more inclined to choose life if they were familiar with the adoption option and what it really looks like – not what the television sometimes suggests it looks like. I personally have the privilege of knowing many adoptive families and their adopted children, and it is truly beautiful and inspiring. There are so many couples and families in our communities who want to adopt children and provide them the life they deserve.
Another issue that adoption agencies and medical centers alike face every day is the difficulty of gaining exposure. These nonprofit organizations in our community sometimes struggle to attract expectant moms and dads who might really need their services because the Planned Parenthood machine is large and influential enough to make it seem like they, and other abortion providers, are the only option. In reality, there are several medical centers that do not provide abortions throughout our community, and many throughout our state, that provide medical care for expectant parents at no cost.
Several of these organizations participated in our two roundtable events, and I was very impressed by the work they are doing and the services they offer. I am committed to doing my part to make sure people know about these organizations in our district because they are truly providing valuable assistance. I will also continue to use my position on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to ensure that federal dollars are steered away from organizations that provide abortions and towards those that do not.
During these roundtable events, I shared some of the recent pro-life accomplishments we’ve had in the House, including passage of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. While I am unapologetically pro-life and firmly opposed to abortion at any stage, I am still supportive of measures like these to defend the unborn, and I was proud to see these pieces of legislation pass in the House.
During the debate of these bills, I noticed that opponents of our pro-life efforts kept referring to abortion as “women’s health care” and insinuating that those who advocate for life seek to prevent women from having access to no-cost medical attention. I really had a hard time listening to this line of argument because it is blatantly false. The truth is that there are plenty of organizations across our country that provide women’s health care at no cost to expectant mothers, and the pro-life community supports these institutions. I was glad to have the opportunity to sit down with several of those in our district, and we agree: The pro-abortion community needs to call it what it is. It’s not “women’s health care” they’re defending. It’s abortion, and I will continue to fight against it every day alongside the outstanding pro-life and pro-adoption groups in our district.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband Riley and their two children.