What I Saw in Phoenix: Pro-Life Grassroots in Action


This Saturday I had the privilege of speaking before 300 Catholic high schoolers and young adults in Phoenix, Arizona at the invitation of Bishop Thomas Olmsted.

It was an awesome opportunity to see the grassroots pro-life movement in action. At the end of the evening the entire rally marched to one of the oldest churches in Phoenix for benediction, adoration and an all-night prayer vigil.

J.D. Long-Garcia of the Catholic Sun wrote up the highlights of the night:

Don’t hide that you’re pro-life, Catholic blogger Thomas Peters challenged a crowd of 300 young Catholics gathered Jan. 19 at Arizona State University’s Memorial Union for the annual Youth and Young Adult Rally.

Abortion has to end, and I believe that through our work, it can end in this generation,” said Peters, who blogs as the “American Papist” for CatholicVote.org and is the cultural director of the National Organization for Marriage. “Don’t confine yourself to Facebook and Twitter. Write your local paper and find media platforms. And let prayer be your constant companion.”

The event was one of several that marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which effectively legalized abortion on a national level Jan. 22, 1973. Since then, 55 million unborn children have been killed by abortion.

“The truth is we are winning the abortion question, even as the deaths pile up year after year,” Peters said. “Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court decision that totally changed the political landscape in America. But since then, hardworking people have been working to establish a pro-life culture at a grassroots level.”

Peters promoted pro-life groups like LiveAction and the Susan B. Anthony List during his talk, and encouraged “trolling” on Planned Parenthood social media pages — spreading the pro-life message in pro-abortion territory.

“Raise the volume,” said Peters, @AmericanPapist. “Raise the decibal level on your pro-lifeness. If you do one pro-life thing a month, I’m asking you to do two pro-life things a month. If you do something pro-life every single day, I want you to do something more effective every day.”

Pro-lifers can equip themselves with the tools and information they need, can get involved in pro-life communities on and off line and do little things that are pro-life every single day. Peters asked those gathered to write something pro-life on Twitter or Facebook with their smartphones.

Rallies and marches like this one are taking place across America right now. God bless the efforts of this next generation of pro-life activists!

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author


Thomas Peters, 31, grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He has two graduate degrees in theology. He began his award-winning American Papist blog in 2006, which went on to become one of the most popular Catholic blogs in America. He was one of a handful of Americans invited to the Vatican’s first-ever Bloggers’ Meeting in Rome. Peters has appeared in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets over the years discussing the intersection of Catholicism and political activism, debating topics related to life, family and religious freedom, in addition to writing and speaking about the future of social media and online organizing. Since 2010, he has served as an advisor to CatholicVote.org. He and his wife Natalie live in Washington DC. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist.

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