A new pro-life movement is seeking to educate and unite a generation of young people in support of the sanctity of every human life.
Matt Mihelic, director and co-founder of the Rose Initiative, told EWTN News on July 17 that there is a need to show young people that “this is the core issue of our day.”
Mihelic, a 25-year-old law student at Liberty University, said that the title stands for “Reclaim Our Sacred Existence.” This reflects his belief that abortion is not simply a matter of legislation or a Supreme Court decision.
Rather, he explained, the underlying problem is that “the idea has been lost in America that life is sacred.” The Rose Initiative seeks to “reclaim what has been lost” and get at “the very root of what our generation needs,” he said.
Set to launch Aug. 1, the initiative will work to spread the message of the “sacredness of life” by educating young people, helping save unborn children from abortion and supporting pro-life legislation.
The effort aims to create effective media advocacy tools to reach the younger generation with the pro-life message in an attractive and engaging way, offering information and encouraging prayer for a greater respect for life.
It will also encourage tangible work to save specific lives by partnering with local maternity homes that aid teen mothers who have chosen life for their babies.
“Reclaim Life” bracelets will be sold with the due date of one of the moms, and the proceeds will go directly to support that mom during her pregnancy.
In addition, participants in the initiative are asked to sign the Rose Declaration, a series of statements that proclaim the sanctity of human life, the injustice and discrimination of abortion, the need for prayer and the reality of forgiveness.
Mihelic hopes to gather thousands of signatures, which will serve as “a visible demonstration of our generation” and its commitment to life.
The petition will also be used for networking purposes, creating a pro-life community that can keep people informed on pro-life developments. Furthermore, the signatures from the declaration will be included when the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act is reintroduced in Congress in 2013.
The idea for the Rose Initiative originated in 2009, when Mihelic was an undergraduate student at Liberty University. He said that he was exposed to the reality of abortion in one of his classes.
“I was really broken by it,” he recalled.
Mihelic left class that day offering a simple prayer that God would use him to support life. He later realized that Liberty University, despite being the largest Christian university in the country, did not have a formal pro-life group. So he ran for student body president on a platform of working to “unify the student body” behind the pro-life movement.
He eventually won and went on to help plan and launch a pro-life conference at Liberty University that attracted notable pro-life leaders, including Norma McCorvey and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
The conference was well-received, and Mihelic was encouraged to expand the project beyond the campus. He assembled a team to help him run the initiative and began working to gain support.
The group is currently raising money that will be used to produce media advocacy tools, including an initial pro-life video, as well as to buy the bracelets that will support teen moms who are participating in designated maternity programs.
So far, the message has been “resonating well” with people, said Mihelic. He explained that as he travels throughout the country to meet with young people, he finds that they are eager to embrace the pro-life message.
“We as a generation are realizing more and more that life is sacred,” he observed.
Mihelic said that his love for America is one reason that he is passionate about wanting to “protect every single life” from abortion: “I think that we as a country can do better."