Jay Sekulow has been defending life since the 1980s. After one of his first U.S. Supreme Court appearances pleading the case for life, he was told he came across too aggressive. “When it comes to the issue of life, how do you not be aggressive?” he told Vitae Foundation supporters in Seattle on Thursday night.
As Chief Council for the American Center for Law & Justice, Sekulow has worked passionately on constitutional and human rights law worldwide. In recent years his cases defending constitutional freedoms include those involving religious liberty.
How does a Jewish boy from Brooklyn become so pro-life? Having a mother who experienced a “surprise” pregnancy ten years after Jay was born and was told to terminate because of a medical condition she had, is probably a big reason. She did not terminate because she believed that was wrong. She also lived another 40 years after delivering Jay’s younger brother.
“We’re standing on the cutting edge of the pro-life movement,” Sekulow stated. “Where are women’s needs met? Online, in (pregnancy) centers, and in the heart. We have a message of hope, and how do we get that message out to more people? The answer…Vitae.”
President Rob Rysavy shared that Vitae fills an unmet need. A woman that is considering abortion does not know where a Pregnancy Help Center (PHC) is located. She doesn’t even know it’s an option.
“We make that vital connection. We do the research; we do the messaging; we connect her with the pregnancy center. We do this so we can change the culture,” Rysavy explained. “The way we’re going to change culture is saving one life at a time. We want to deprive Planned Parenthood and the abortion mills of their customers and drive them out of business.”
Just how can this happen? Vitae Founder and Strategic Advisor Carl Landwehr shared how this can become a reality.
“We have a plan. If you apply business principles, we remove about $600 from the abortion industry every time a woman chooses a Pregnancy Help Center. We’ve done the math. With a 12 to 15 percent profit margin, if we can get an additional 110,000 women to PHCs each year, we take away the profit margin from the abortion industry.”
Landwehr showed a map of the 2,400 PHCs and about 800 abortion clinics. “They get the lion share of business. We are being out-marketed.”
The Vitae Founder said both sides are selling the same product: Who’s going to manage this lady’s fear? Landwehr explained this is important to understand as Vitae develops its messaging. “At the end of the day, we are selling life, and they are selling death.”
One gruesome example was a story shared of a 13-year-old girl who was eventually rescued from a human trafficking situation in her late teens, but not before she had endured 20 abortions. “The big business of abortion missed the opportunity to save this young, victimized girl 20 times!” Landwehr lamented.
Sekulow drove the point home that if Planned Parenthood is defunded, someone would come up with the money for them. “The other side doesn’t want to go out of business. What Vitae is doing is at the front edge of helping women. You must help take it to another level!” he urged.
Strategy and persistence are the keys to winning, the pro-life attorney noted. He shared that he can only do so much in law, and it’s not going to be about luck.
“It’s going to be about strategy, and you are in a mode of strategy. The world is changing. Media is changing,” Sekulow stated. “Dr. Ben Carson told me that you have to see around a problem in about nine dimensions. That’s what you’re doing here. We have to see the problem; we have to communicate and be persistent.”
Sekulow shared the parable of the woman who wanted to talk to a judge, so she knocked and knocked and knocked on his door with great persistence until he finally relented and opened the door.
“Defunding Planned Parenthood isn’t going to change your work to reach women in Seattle who are in crisis. We need to be like that woman at the door. Be persistent. This isn’t a case. It’s a human being dependent on us. The support you give is important and vital to a movement that touches the entire country.
“At the end of the day, we win. We have no other option,” Sekulow concluded.
Landwehr shared the story of receiving a letter from a woman whose grandfather was saved from a Nazi concentration camp by Oscar Schindler (“Schindler’s List.”) In the letter she was urging Vitae not to give up and thanking us for saving generations, just like Schindler did. Landwehr noted that at the end of Schindler’s life he said, “I wish I could have saved more.”
Please take this opportunity to save more lives by helping Vitae reach more abortion-vulnerable women. Please consider a donation today. Vitae has the research, the strategy, and the persistence to ultimately win. By saving women and their unborn children, we can put the abortion industry out of business.