By: Melissa Solano
Based out of New York City since 2009 and spreading throughout the entire nation, an organization of men have dedicated themselves to spreading the pro-life message – while riding their Harley-Davidsons.
“It’s amazing how God leads you, he brings you to the people,” said Pro-Biker member Thomas Upschur.
Upschur and fellow member Louis M. Fielack III came to Franciscan University of Steubenville on Thursday, Sept. 20 to talk about their pro-life movement, the Pro-Bikers for Life, and their experiences in clinic outreach. Their mission statement, found on their website, “is to preserve human life through counseling and prayerful presence at clinics where the abortions are taking place. We do everything we can to support the pro-life cause.”
They discussed what they do to help make a difference in the on-going abortion debate. The group, along with their close affiliates, the Sisters of Life, participates in prayer vigils and counseling outside of Planned Parenthood clinics in New York City. They said they focus on the men waiting outside the clinics and try to change their minds about the abortions.
“A lot of men are waiting out there,” said Upschur. “A lot of them don’t want the abortion, but they feel helpless.”
Both men said they share pamphlets with the men, pray with them and try to educate them about abortion, including the health risks that could be imposed on their wives or girlfriends. They also introduce the women to the Sisters of Life, whom they refer to as their “oxygen.” They help the women during their pregnancies, through the birth, and help them get back on their feet afterwards.
The bikers also discussed and shared their different methods of ministry with the students who attended, and gave advice on what to talk to people about at clinic outreach programs, which the Franciscan University Students for Life do on Saturdays.
They also credited prayer as a powerful tool in the ministry.
“I cannot stress the power of prayer,” said Upshur. “If you want to get involved in something like this, absolutely stay strong in your prayer life.”
Both men shared their personal stories, and experiences involving abortion.
“I used to be in the army,” said Upschur. “Now my weapons are the rosary and Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
Fielack shared a very personal story about participating in an abortion with his then-girlfriend in 1983, and how it continued to affect him throughout his life, and ultimately lead him to God.
“It affects your happiness, in all ways,” Fielack said. “People have been driven to drug abuse, alcoholism, even suicide to deal with it. It’s not light stuff.”