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Pro-Life Family Tours Abortion Hot Spots Across The Eastern Seaboard

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One Missouri family of nine returned home this week after a month touring the Eastern Seaboard, visiting roughly 20 states in just over 30 days and exploring some of the most unregulated abortion states in the country.

Brian Westbrook, executive director of the pro-life nonprofit Coalition Life, set out with his family in late May, inspired by David Bereit, the now-retired founder of 40 Days for Life, who visited 89 sites in 40 days with his wife and children during the organization’s first campaign in 2007.

“It was a huge task in front of them … to support these people on the ground,” Westbrook said. “[Bereit’s] last season at 40 Days, he did another tour and visited all 50 states.”

Documenting their journey with daily videos including feature interviews with pregnancy resource professionals, Students for Life leaders, and other pro-life activists, the family traveled from Missouri to Florida and all the way up the coast to New York.

First and foremost, the Westbrooks wanted to incorporate their children, ranging in age from 16 to just under 1 into the tour, providing a powerful testimony as they prayed outside dozens of abortion facilities.

“Secondarily, we wanted to tell the stories of the people who are on the ground,” Westbrook said. “There are a lot of unsung heroes who don’t have the ability or capacity to create a video that highlights their story. So we wanted to do that. Thirdly, we wanted to scout out different post-Dobbs challenges in every state and how we could help impact that as well.”

‘Devastation’ on the Eastern Seaboard

As a midwestern family with a midwestern background, it’s easy to look at the hundreds of dots on a map representing abortion facilities, Westbrook said.

“It’s a whole other thing to go and visit these places and see the devastation that is happening on the Eastern Seaboard,” he said.

This was particularly alarming to the Westbrooks in Boston where the medical establishment has instituted widespread abortion, opening access to the procedure at nearly all hospitals.

“This has been the goal of the abortion industry for over 50 years,” Westbrook said. “To have abortion being accepted by the medical community and fully embraced by the hospitals as legitimate health care.”

The family also saw that several “run-of-the-mill” cities had generated some of the most contentious, high-profile abortion court cases.

“We were surprised by the sites that have garnered national attention like in Philadelphia with the Mark Houck case and in Boston with the major buffer zone case at Planned Parenthood,” Westbrook said. “They seem like normal, nothing special locations. It shows us that these cases could have happened anywhere.”

Mapping Out a Ground Game

“Pro-life people around the country have one very common theme: joy,” Westbrook said. “They are excited about life and believe God has given us an abundance of resources and it’s our job to steward them well. We have encountered some pro-life people who are discouraged by the Dobbs decision and the fallout with more local struggles in individual states. But so many people have expressed excitement about the lives that the overturning of Roe is saving.”

On the other hand, they also observed a common theme among pro-abortion activists they met. “Mean, vulgar, and uncaring,” Westbrook observed. “That seems crazy because Planned Parenthood says they care about women no matter what, but they don’t seem to care about anything except rushing a woman into an abortion facility.”

Westbrook has plans to expand Coalition Life, a professional sidewalk counseling nonprofit, nationwide, and the density of abortion facilities on the East Coast also inspired the family’s decision to map the Eastern Seaboard.

“High volume, that’s where a professional model of sidewalk counseling works the best,” Westbrook said. “It’s kind of a sad fact. We’re looking at where the busiest sites are that would allow us to then work with local pregnancy centers who are open and willing to work with us as well.”

Westbrook said another goal in visiting these abortion facilities in person was to understand and map the actual ground game needed.

“Being able to go to those different locations and understand what the real ground game is, in these different states, necessitated us to actually go to these physical sites and physical abortion facilities.”

The faces documented by the Westbrooks provide a vital look at the work of activists on the ground in pro-life America.

“In a post-Covid world somehow everything’s virtual … but we wanted to make real, human connections with real people,” Westbrook said. “It was about seeing the people … it was a look at what was going on on the ground that you can’t get on Google Maps, or Google Street View.”


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