Culture of Life
Cupcakes for Life
BY Lori Hadacek Chaplin
October 7-20, 2012 Issue | Posted 9/28/12 at 11:32 AM
Did you know that Oct. 9 is National Pro-Life Cupcake Day? Educating people about abortion with a cupcake is the idea of Dave Pomerantz, 23, and Joe Baker, 30. They wanted to do something for the million-plus U.S. babies who aren’t allowed to have a birthday due to abortion. Hundreds of thousands of cupcakes are given away across the nation each year.
Birth of an Idea
Back in 2006, Baker and Pomerantz started brainstorming friendly and non-threatening ways to promote life. Pomerantz was feeling troubled about the number of fellow students and teachers at the Christian school he attended who professed to be "pro-choice."
"I sort of made a joke about possibly handing cupcakes out at my school in honor of all of the children who weren’t allowed to have a birthday due to abortion," he recalled. They quickly realized that this idea could be a stroke of genius, so Pomerantz took a bunch of cupcakes to his school, and his fellow students were really moved by it: "I was able to counsel my friends through the pro-life argument, and it also gave me a great way to share the Gospels."
With that first success, they decided to market CupcakesforLife.com and the national day.
"MTV makes pro-life look really uncool, and it has done a powerful job of marketing Planned Parenthood," said Baker. "I want to compete with that through the work of the Holy Spirit and our own ideas."
The two men also founded Save the Storks, which has a "Stork Bus" equipped with an ultrasound machine to save babies in the Dallas area.
In 2010, Baker and Pomerantz and a crew of friends, wearing "Cupcakes for Life" t-shirts, handed out 2,000 cupcakes in New York City’s Times Square. Everybody wanted a free cupcake, and people seemed comfortable sharing their views and exploring the pro-life argument with them.
"The most amazing part about this was how open people were to talking about this issue when there was a distraction [of the cupcake]. Usually, people get really upset when talking about abortion," Pomerantz explained.
Rebekah Leitner, 23, from Morrow, Ohio, is campaign director for Cupcakes for Life.
"Cupcakes are meant to be an inviting segue to start conversations, to educate and get people thinking," she said.
This past April, she held her own cupcake event at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. (Although the national day is in October, people are encouraged to have the events any time of year.)
Leitner and her friends baked 500 cupcakes and passed them out at the campus student center. They had "Free Cupcakes" signs, an information poster, and they were wearing "Cupcakes for Life" t-shirts. "People were asking a lot of questions, and we were prepared to answer them," she recalled.
She said the "Free Cupcakes" signs are key. "People will come up to you to get one and ask why you are giving them away. The response to that is that we just want to remind people that not every baby gets to have a birthday because of abortion, and we just want people to think about that," said Leitner.
Such dialogue is needed.
"Abortion has been such a distant issue in so many peoples’ minds that it hasn’t really hit home how it impacts individual lives," she said. "I was shocked by the ignorance surrounding the issue."
Mostly, the event was about dialogue, although they did encounter negative feedback.
"When I explained to them that the event was more about education than promoting an agenda, they were more open to it," she said. "They had thought that we were there to make people who had had an abortion feel bad." On the contrary, Cupcakes for Life’s mission is to educate people about pro-life in a sensitive way.
Having an event not only has the potential to make the public contemplate the truth about abortion more deeply — it is a good way to affirm and grow in one’s pro-life convictions, said Baker.
"By handing out the cupcakes, it really changes the individuals doing it. It impacts them, and it impacts the person that they are having a conversation with. It’s more about a new way of presenting this great injustice in a kind and generous way — in a sweet way, pun intended."
Lori Chaplin writes from Idaho.
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