Pro-life nonprofit Human Coalition is on the cutting edge of the pro-life movement.
The young organization that doesn't take a dime from the federal government uses data analysis and technology to focus its resources on women determined to have an abortion, in contrast to the pregnancy centers that typically reach out to "abortion-vulnerable" women.
Unsurprisingly, the highly effective technology-savvy, compassion-filled approach has ruffled the feathers of those in the pro-abortion community; take your pick from the dozens of hit pieces on the nonprofit as proof.
The abortion lobby’s fear of Human Coalition is for good reason.
In a little over five years, the nonprofit has saved over 6,200 babies from abortion and has a massive support base of well over one million and growing.
Last week, the Daily Wire was lucky enough to speak with Human Coalition associate general counsel, Colin LeCroy. Mr. LeCroy was formerly a highly-successful and prestigious for-profit attorney, giving up the big bucks and clout for a position with the most pragmatic pro-life group he says he’s ever seen.
During the interview, LeCroy told Daily Wire about the message and effectiveness of Human Coalition's strategy to meet women in crisis where they are at in their lives, why his organization is a target of the abortion community, the future of the pro-life movement, and his transformation from bigwig attorney to nonprofit counsel.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Human Coalition is unlike any other pro-life nonprofit I’ve seen. Could you tell us a little bit about your organization and how you differ from the pregnancy center movement?
First and foremost, we are really focusing our resources on finding, reaching and serving women who’ve made a decision to abort. So, the pregnancy center movement over the years has developed a helpful ministry to women who are what you would call “abortion-vulnerable,” or in crisis pregnancy, but what we’ve found is that they are typically not seeing women who have already chosen to abort their children; those women are going straight to the abortion clinic.
Our approach has been to use strategic marketing to connect to those clients. So, for instance, the average crisis pregnancy center sees about 239 abortion-vulnerable women per year, only 22 of whom are said to be abortion-minded; an average Human Coalition care center will see 563 women, 542 of whom who stated that they planned to get an abortion.
The first thing we are doing differently is that our market is women who are planning to abort. The second thing is we are trying to use as much data analysis to inform our process; we are trying to understand what are the things that drive a client to the decision whether to abort or not, and what can we do to affect those. We don’t focus on risks of abortion or evangelization; we instead find that working collaboratively with the client is much more effective. We try to minimize scaring a client and focus on the obstacles to her pregnancy, figuring out how we can overcome those together with the client.
Screenshot: Human Coalition
Why the name Human Coalition, and why is the image of a thumbprint your logo?
We’re called Human Coalition because humanity is the common ground between everyone when it comes to abortion. We can all agree that the right to life should come just from the fact that we’re humans, and then the theological and philosophical arguments can stem from that. So, we’re not called “the personhood organization,” or “the image-of-God coalition”; we’re called Human Coalition because we want people to acknowledge the shared thread that’s binding all of us, and the reason we should oppose abortion is just because we are all human, and as humans we have the fundamental right to life.
If you look back over history, there have been times that societies have valued some people over others, and we look back at all those instances with horror.
Our mark was inspired by the thumbprint of the third child Human Coalition rescued in Pittsburgh. Like a fingerprint, every human is a unique and irreplaceable work of divine art. That conviction is what drives us to do this work at Human Coalition.
Your site says you wish to rid America of the stain of abortion and create a “culture of life.” What does that culture of life look like, and how do we go about creating it?
One aspect of that is that we value every life equally, regardless of whether it’s still gestating or out in the world; we must view pro-born humans as possessing just as much dignity as infants do, as toddlers do, as teenagers do, as adults do, as senior citizens do.
I think the way you get there, one aspect of that, is that our society can no longer rely on the cop-out of abortion. At the end of the day, abortion is society’s answer to a large group of problems; a bad answer. It’s much more difficult to get to the root issues that underlie the abortions that are happening, and abortion has just been a crutch to avoid addressing those things.
So, creating a culture of life is going to require a commitment, especially on the part of conservatives and Christians, to really do more than just be nominally opposed to the practice. They are going to have to dig in and sacrifice their treasure and their time.
What are some of the reactions you’ve received from scared mothers who were looking to abort before stumbling onto Human Coalition?
I haven’t exactly taken a qualitative survey, but everybody I’ve talked to is grateful to have their children. They might be stressed, and they might still have a lot of problems, but they are grateful that somebody was willing to listen to them, work with them and roll up their sleeves to help them.
How valuable is strategic data and technology, which Human Coalition has really championed, to the pro-life movement? This seems to be a missing component from the movement.
Comparing our rates to other pregnancy center rates, we were able to save about 127 more babies last year per clinic than your average clinic. We are able to be more effective at things, like getting a client who calls to actually show up at the clinic as well as working with her once we get her to the clinic.
We measure a couple of stats: one we call in-the-door rate, which is the percentage of clients who call us and actually make an appointment; then we have the life-decision rate, which is the percentage of clients who make an appointment and end up keeping their baby. We are significantly more effective at each of those steps than other pregnancy centers have been because of the way we deploy our resources and the way we are vigilant about tracking results on an ongoing basis.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that technology and data is a matter of life and death in the pregnancy center movement.
There’s sort of an allergic reaction from the pro-life and nonprofit world toward being results-oriented. We are often dealing with things that are very difficult and complex, so we focus more on the intent of the caregiver or the organization and a little less on their effectiveness. That seems like something that’s dirty, something that for-profit businesses are doing, something we really shouldn’t be engaging in, but in our line of work, you can’t afford to ignore that. If we can get two-percent more effectiveness, that’s two-percent more babies; that’s actual lives that are being saved. We don’t have that luxury in the pro-life world to be complacent, or to be only focused on intent.
Human Coalition has exploded over the short five years of its existence. The nonprofit has well over one million people signed on to your mission, been featured in The New York Times and countless other outlets, earned a target on your back from the abortion lobby, and saved over 6,200 lives since your inception. To what do you attribute your success?
I think that our message resonates with practical people. Our approach to this is very pragmatic. We are trying to, client by client, city by city, identify women who are in desperate situations, and meet their needs. It doesn’t require an act of Congress; it doesn’t require a momentous cultural shift; it doesn’t require the Supreme Court overturning Roe. It’s something we can do now; it’s tangible and, frankly, a productive use of people’s time and energy.
So much of the pro-life movement has been equated with a culture war issue, where we are just going to argue loudly and try to outfox the other side with arguments, and that is something that doesn’t resonate for a number of people. But serving women in need, that resonates. And that’s the core of our operation here.
In other words, we have made ending abortion a tangible strategy for the general public.
You look out at society, and it seems like the media is against the issue of life; it seems like the entertainment industry is against the issue of life, and it’s easy to grow weary and feel like there’s no way forward.
That’s not the case. There are a lot of tools at our disposal, and that’s what we’re trying to do: use those tools that are already in our toolkit that the world gives us and put them into play for saving humans.
A recent New York Times op-ed penned by a Human Coalition colleague, which de-linked economics with abortion, ignited a firestorm of backlash from the abortion community, i.e. a lengthy Media Matters exposé. Why do you think your nonprofit has rattled the pro-abortion community so much?
It's no secret that the abortion lobby has controlled the media narrative about abortion for years — a narrative that does nothing more than parrot abortion marketing sound-bites that boil down to "a woman can't _____ without abortion" (finish school, advance her career, be happy). What Human Coalition essentially says is, "Actually, yes she can." While the abortion industry sells despair, we stand in the gap with hope. And when thousands of women reverse course and reject abortion after meeting Human Coalition, the abortion lobby's vitriolic reaction is predictable.
There seems to have been a shift in the pro-life movement from evangelistic to secular and scientific-driven arguments. As you stated, Human Coalition is not overly focused on evangelism. Can you speak to the direction of the pro-life movement in this respect?
When we’re talking to a client, she’s in crisis; what we hope to do is stabilize her and move her to the next step. It’s not the time a client is open to a gospel presentation.
Pro-lifers have to be cognizant of the obstacles to their goal of saving babies. You might have some organizations, historically seen as doing evangelist outreach, and that might very well work when you’re talking to women who aren’t considering abortion, or perhaps have some risk factors for considering abortion, but when you’re talking to a hardcore, I-want-an-abortion-now-type client, it’s just simply not an option.
The better course, rather than to address the theological issues, is first to go upstream and work through churches before the crisis occurs. I think when a woman is not pregnant, maybe not even sexually active, that's really the time to address the theological and ethical considerations with her, or on the back-end when the crisis is over.
Here at Human Coalition, we’re an emergency room; we’re really good at addressing the crisis phase and helping clients see hope and address some of the structural issues that are driving their abortion decision, but there are other organizations that are really effective at the long-term, socio-economic issues. Frankly, addressing such issues is where the American church needs to step up and do more. It’s one thing to wring your hands dealing with the problem of abortion, but if you’re not going to put your hands in the dirt and really start working on it yourself, you don’t have a right to talk about it. It’s going to require pro-lifers to really buckle down and work diligently and sacrificially to help women who are in desperate positions. That’s going to be a much more effective use of the church’s time and other organizations’ time.
You were formally a pro-profit attorney with a lot of prestige and wealth, and now you’re general counsel for a pro-life nonprofit. Why the switch? Why give it all up?
I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama; during high school I volunteered at the Civil Rights museum there. I used to daydream about, if I were alive then, I would have been out marching with Dr. King and the leaders of the Civil Rights movement. I wouldn’t have been silent. I would have participated in it.
Then, over the last five years, I started thinking about my role in the pro-life issue, and while I’d been pro-life in name, other than making specific decisions voting for the president and Senate, I really hadn’t done anything to deserve the name pro-life. That was the case with a lot of the people I know and respect back in Birmingham, some of whom are my relatives; they are not particularly racist and they might have agreed with the agenda of the Civil Rights movement, but they didn’t participate in it for one reason of another.
I didn’t want to have that legacy with my kids. I have four daughters, and I firmly believe before the end of my life, we’re going to look back on abortion with horror, and I want to be able to credibly say to them: I stood up for the rights of the unborn; I did something; I sacrificed; I didn’t leave anything on the table when it came to fighting for the unborn.
And then from there, it was becoming acquainted with Human Coalition. I started giving, and I was working at law firm and just thought: I would rather be working for Human Coalition. I knew I could give more than $100 a month and instead be fully invested.
And, lastly, what sort of advice do you have for those in the pro-life movement?
One way to look at this is to talk to people who aren’t involved in the movement, who are nominally pro-life.
There are about a million abortions per year, and four million live births, so you’re talking about one in five pregnancies ending in abortion. I think there are a lot of well-meaning believers and Christians and pro-lifers who just frankly don’t understand the scope of the issue.
One million abortions. That’s one million fewer people that are not living that would have been. And that’s also hundreds of thousands of hurting women who are in desperate positions who aren’t being helped, so there is ample reason for pro-lifers to engage. It’s critical, and it’s urgent.
There are a lot of needs in the world, and I would argue to them, this trumps those. The right to life, the ability to be born, is a more fundamental right than very single other issue that Christians have going on, at least from the social perspective.
There’s also a misconception out there, even amongst pro-lifers and conservatives, that somehow being involved in the pro-life movement is kind of dirty or unsavory. … I know many Christians who give generously to protect stray dogs, or endangered animals, but they are afraid to give to protect the pre-born because they are afraid that they're going to be perceived as getting involved in politics, or social issues. I don’t know if some of them believe politics isn’t a good way to handle things, or, perhaps, some are reluctant to fight for the pre-born because it doesn’t sell as well at the country club. But this is a human rights issue; it’s a social justice issue, and it’s something Christians need to get involved in. It’s about serving women and saving babies, not culture wars.
One last note: There are a lot of Americans who believe abortion is morally wrong to some extent, but only one in six of them give, and their average gift is really low. The pro-life movement is facing a resource problem. Pro-lifers need to know: it takes all of them. There is not one pro-lifer that the movement can do without. They don't have to work at Human Coalition, but they need to pay attention and get involved.
To learn more about Human Coalition, click here.