Eric Scheidler speaks on activism at the International Pro-Life Youth Conference, Nov. 12 [Photo by Dave Bathon]
This past weekend I traveled to Los Angeles for the first ever International Pro-Life Youth Conference to join a cast of fantastic speakers and 300 of the most enthusiastic young pro-lifers I’ve ever seen.
The conference was expertly organized by Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust and cosponsored by several other pro-life groups, including the League, which provided copies of our Sharing the Pro-Life Message handbook to all attendees. Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition did an extraordinary job as Master of Ceremonies.
My contribution to the conference was a new PowerPoint presentation on conducting successful events entitled, “10 Keys to Effective Pro-Life Action,” which drew on my years as an activist. These keys included such advice as “Devise your battle plan,” “Cooperate with police” and “Take care of volunteers.”
Connecting with Pro-Life Friends Old and New
IPYC was a pro-life “family reunion” of sorts. To name all great pro-life friends I spent time with during the conference, both old and new, would be a cumbersome task and I couldn’t possibly remember them all, but I do want to point out two highlights:
Opening slide of Eric’s PowerPoint presentation on effective activism
On the ride from LAX to St. Matthias High School, where the conference was held, I met Joshua Edmonds, a student at Georgia State University who made headlines over the controversy surrounding his creative pro-life campaign. He and other volunteers passed out beautiful fetal models, along with candy, at a Halloween event in Loganville, Georgia. Though the pro-lifers didn’t even mention the word abortion, some parents objected and media across the country picked up the story.
Another highlight of the conference was a presentation by New Zealand’s Warwick Pascoe entitled, “The Making of a Masterpiece.” Warwick uses the creative tactic of starting with the universally recognized humanity of the newborn child and then working backwards, in a presentation peppered with humor and fortified with stunning details on the masterpiece that is every child in the womb.
Chicagoan Learns to Love L.A.
After Mass on Sunday, I spent the afternoon before my flight on a driving tour of L.A. with Operation Rescue‘s Troy Newman, a California native. This was my first visit to the City of Angels, and Troy helped knock off the chip on my shoulder natural to someone born and raised in “second city” rival Chicago.
I look forward to visiting Los Angeles again, especially to join forces with my pro-life friends there. The conference was such a success that Survivors have decided to hold it again next year, and I am eager to take part.