Raising Pro-Life Kids in a Post-Roe World
7 Tips for Growing the Culture of Life
With the recent Dobbs ruling by the Supreme Court, overturning the decision of Roe v. Wade — which wreaked moral havoc on our society and led to the loss of more than 60 million children in just a few decades — families are celebrating, while recognizing the need to continue to grow a culture of life.
What can parents do to help raise pro-life kids in a post-Roe country? Here are some ideas to consider, using your prudential judgment, depending on the ages and maturity of your children:
1. Volunteer your time, talent and treasure to help the pro-life cause in your local area and around the country. There are so many physical ways even children can get involved in the pro-life movement, from making care bags for pregnant moms to be handed out at pregnancy centers to helping “fill a crib” for a “Moms in Need” ministry, participating in life chains and marches, and attending baby showers for moms hosted by parish pro-life ministries. Talk with your children about the pregnancy-care centers and pro-life ministries that you support financially, and encourage them to work and raise money to donate to these causes. Older children can begin to participate in their civic responsibility by learning to vote for pro-life candidates and policies and engage in letter-writing and other campaigning to further the pro-life cause. Parents can encourage teens and young adults to join pro-life clubs and student organizations.
2. Pray together! Pray regularly for an end to abortion in your family prayers. Utilize Fulton Sheen’s spiritual adoption prayer to spiritually adopt an unborn baby as a family, pray for the conversion of hearts of those who do not uphold the sanctity of life, and bring your children to pray with you outside an abortion facility (even consider weekend hours when the business is closed, if needed, as those prayers are still fruitful on location and when many are gathered). Pray for pregnant mothers and their babies in utero, pray for adopting parents, pray for women in crisis pregnancies, pray for post-abortive healing for women and men, and pray for pro-life organizations and their ministry work.
3. Give your children an opportunity to love on babies! Whether that’s their own siblings — from tracking their fetal development in the womb to holding and helping them for the first time as a newborn — or other babies they encounter at church or among friends and relatives. Be open to life in your own home. Together, marvel at the gift and blessing that babies are to the world and the joy they bring to our families and communities. On a more somber note, allow children to mourn miscarriage with you, to hope in an eternal meeting with a lost sibling and to celebrate their life with you.
4. Teach your children about abortion. Talk openly and honestly about what it is, what God and the Church teach about the dignity of human life, the arguments that they will hear in the culture and how to respond to them in charity and truth. This begins by educating yourself, and there are some great resources to help you with this, including Trent Horn and Leila Miller’s book Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues, as well as materials from pro-life educational organizations like Live Action. Talk with older children about the Supreme Court cases impacting the country, and the political and cultural landscape, and implications historically and today. Expose them to videos that have a powerful visual impact, and equip them with resources to dialogue with others.
5. Read children’s books to your younger kids that teach and inspire the sanctity of life. Some great titles include Regina Doman’s Angel in the Waters, Pro-Life Kids! by Bethany Bomberger, Little Lives Matter by Elizabeth Johnston, and others.
6. Have conversations about the dignity of all human life — from conception until natural death — to encourage a pro-life view that encompasses even more than babies in the womb. Make special effort to love on the elderly you know, to care for the disabled, and take any opportunity to demonstrate to your children, through your own actions, Christ’s authentic love for all his children, no matter their size, level of development, environment or degree of dependency. The culture does not define human worth: God gives every human being their innate worth.
7. Embrace the right attitude. Remember, children are naturally pro-life. It is part of their beautiful, God-given nature to embrace and share God’s love for every person he created. Help model this Christlike love with your own joy, courage and charity in spreading the message of the sanctity of life and human worth. Your witness is invaluable.