Pro-life activist and former student body president Elizabeth Eller (’21) is an ardent soldier in the battle to defend life. With the firm conviction that her generation has the power to bring an end to abortion, Eller has devoted her time and talents to protecting unborn babies, assisting mothers, and leading her peers toward greater fervor for the pro-life cause. From sidewalk counseling to prayer initiatives, Eller does not just agree with the pro-life stance, she lives it.
Eller’s dedication to protecting vulnerable lives made her the perfect candidate to represent the young face of the pro-life movement at the 2021 March for Life virtual rally. With tens of thousands tuning in, Eller delivered her address alongside famous pro-life speakers, such as Tim Tebow and Lila Rose. Her message was clear—the time to bravely rise up against abortion is now, and the younger generation has a crucial role to play in turning the tide toward life.
“To my fellow young people—a third of our generation is missing because they were not deemed worthy of their very own lives. With this in mind, I implore you—do everything you can to give a voice to those who don’t have their own,” Eller stated in her address. “We can and will be the generation that sees the end of abortion if we take responsibility and defend the unborn. Millions of lives depend on our actions.”
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Acting upon this conviction, Eller has taken it upon herself to change hearts and save lives. As president of Christendom’s pro-life club Shield of Roses, Eller spent her Saturday mornings praying outside a local abortion clinic with her classmates. Through this club, Eller also trained to become a sidewalk counselor, valiantly interceding for life at the most crucial moment.
“While sidewalk counseling with my fellow students at Christendom College, I experienced firsthand how young women just like me are lied to and abused by the abortion industry,” Eller shared in her address. “Women deserve better than abortion, and so do their babies.”
Not only has participating in Shield of Roses given Eller the chance to advocate for life through sidewalk counseling, it has also made her keenly aware of the power of prayer in the fight against abortion.
“I went and prayed for the unborn every single Saturday morning [with Shield of Roses], even when it was inconvenient. This consistency helped me understand how essential unceasing prayer is in the fight against abortion. Prayer truly is our most powerful weapon,” Eller shared.
During the summer of 2019, Eller devoted herself to prayer and fasting by participating in a cross-country pilgrimage with Crossroads Pro-Life. Over the course of 12 weeks, she and 13 other young adults traveled on foot from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., offering up their long days and sufferings for an end to abortion. On this journey, Eller and her fellow pilgrims bore witness to the culture of life through presenting at conferences and churches, praying at abortion clinics, and interacting with those they met along the way.
“This experience changed my life and solidified my commitment to never stop standing up for the unborn,” Eller shared.
Upon returning from the Crossroads pilgrimage, Eller began interventional counseling with an organization in her local community called Hope4Life, which stations mobile pregnancy resource centers near abortion clinics. In addition to providing free ultrasounds and medical services, Hope4Life volunteers connect women with the resources and support they need to choose life. By seeing their baby on an ultrasound, women encounter the humanity of the life within them, inspiring them to give their child a chance.
“Getting to be in the room when a mother sees her baby on the ultrasound machine for the first time is an incredible experience that confirms how important our work is,” Eller shared. “I have talked to several women in the parking lot who have changed their minds and chosen life because of our presence.”
One such instance was over Eller’s Christmas break. While volunteering with Hope4Life, Eller helped a young mother choose life right before her appointment at the abortion clinic.
“I could tell that she was afraid as soon as she started talking to me,” Eller shared. “I asked if she was pregnant and congratulated her when she said yes. I told her about her baby and how he or she already had a heartbeat and was very much alive.”
As they were talking, the Hope4Life unit pulled into the parking lot, and the young woman agreed to receive an ultrasound.
“She was so excited when I told her that she could see her baby right then and there,” Eller said, “whereas the abortion clinic would not actually show her the ultrasound. She decided to skip her appointment at the abortion clinic and left excited, having chosen to keep her baby.”
From active intervention to prayer and sacrifice, Eller is fighting for life on every level. Her experience and dedication made Eller a fitting representative for young people at the March for Life virtual rally.
“Giving a speech at the March for Life rally was an amazing experience. Knowing that hundreds of thousands of people would watch the virtual rally and that I was one of the speakers among such heroic advocates for life was such an honor,” Eller shared. “Being able to represent my generation as a source of hope for the pro-life cause on such a large scale is something I never imagined myself doing, but it was certainly a humbling experience.”
With graduation on the horizon this past spring, Eller took time for reflection and prayer to discern how God wanted her to continue her pro-life work. She plans to continue sidewalk counseling and also feels called to build the pro-life movement by investing her energies in Christendom College. Eller will be joining the college as a donor relations assistant, working to spread the good news about Christendom and supporting its students—the future leaders of the pro-life movement.
“Get out to an abortion clinic and get involved,” is Eller’s advice to her peers. “As young people, we have the huge advantage of being approachable to young mothers in need of help. Changing hearts and minds is what will change the culture, and prayer and presence at abortion clinics is the easiest way to change hearts and minds.”
Eller’s story is a call to action and a stirring reminder of the responsibility each of us holds in defending life at every stage.
“Complacency just isn’t an option if we really do believe that thousands of innocent children are being murdered every day right outside our doors,” Eller shared. “God has blessed us as Catholics with knowledge of the truth about abortion, and I believe that this knowledge comes with responsibility to share the objective truth and expose the intolerable lies of the abortion industry.”
In a time when it is difficult to hope, Eller’s testimony is an inspiration to take heart, keep faith, and continue standing up for innocent lives. Her message to young people is especially compelling—it is in the hands of the younger generation to save the next. With leaders like Eller mobilizing and uplifting young people, the culture of life can and will triumph.