As of April 30, the pro-life universe is one star poorer than it was the day before. That was the day we lost Rebeca Josefina Flores Guerra (or, Josie, as she was known).
She was one of the most engaged member of my hometown of Laredo, Texas; a true force in the community; and most importantly, a staunch supporter of the right to life. In fact, if it were not for her leadership in keeping the life issue alive in Laredo, I know I would not be the activist I am today.
And she was truly an agent of change in Laredo.
She once recounted to me how she had first been approached by National Right to Life in the 1980s about starting a chapter, which she happily agreed to do. Her work in the community changed over the year, focusing on walks for Life, memorials for the unborn, large fundraising dinners, and her beloved crisis pregnancy work.
In 1996, Josie opened “Casa La Esperanza” (Spanish for House of Hope) as a refuge for the many young ladies in our city who found themselves pregnant and feeling scared, alone, and thinking that abortion was their only option.
Josie once told a local newspaper: “We don’t force anyone, nor do we try to make them do what we want, the final decision is personal, we just talk to them about the options they have and we tell them that life is a gift from God.”
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Josie and her group were responsible for closing Laredo’s only abortion clinic. Her vigor truly amazed me.
I hope she would have been pleased with the fact that the National Right to Life Convention is going to be in Texas this year. The Convention is a celebration of grassroots pro-lifers just like Josie. And I plan to dedicate my work there this year to her memory.