WOONSOCKET—“Unlimited Potential; Heartbeat 18 days from Conception,” reads a billboard featuring the face of young Logan Duguay of Woonsocket.
Similar billboards can be found across the United States and in some parts of Canada, sending the Pro-Life message to those who need to hear it the most.
Several years ago, Georgette Duguay and her husband attended an international Pro-Life seminar in New Orleans after learning about it in a newspaper at the 2002 Pro-Life march in Washington D.C. Since that seminar, Duguay has made it her mission to peacefully appeal to those who are considering or suggesting abortion as a convenient alternative to adoption. “It’s not [just] a blob,” says Duguay. “It is life.”
For the past six years, Duguay, through extensive fundraising, has supported numerous “Pro-Life across America” billboards. Although she is “amazed at the generosity of pro-life people,” there have been several occasions where it has been particularly challenging to pay the rent for the boards, which can be upwards of five hundred dollars per month. “There are many good causes out there,” Duguay understands. “I’m just another one. … Sometimes I feel that I’m a pest, but it’s worth it.” Duguay firmly believes that God has asked her to convey a message of life. “The Holy Spirit is urging me to do this,” she said. “I feel that this was a calling.”
It has been estimated that Duguay has collected more than $45,000 in funds over the past several years. Her activism has become a family affair – her grandson, Logan Duguay, of Woonsocket, is now one of the poster children for “Pro-Life across America,” and appears on many of the nearly 6,000 pro-life billboards across the nation.
“The important thing is that the billboard messages have saved babies’ lives,” Duguay said, eschewing any pessimism toward the success of the ads. A quarterly newsletter sent to those who donate money to “Pro-Life across America” often includes stories about the calls received by the hotline posted on the billboards. While the statistics Pro-Life across America cites to its callers seem simple — life begins at conception, babies have senses of touch and pain at ten weeks, and can smile at twelve — they can be mind-boggling to those who do not realize they are supporting another life within themselves. Quite often, Duguay said, callers have complete changes of heart, and decide to give birth rather than abort. “God creates life, and there is life; there is a beating heart in the womb, and [young mothers] need to reflect on that,” she remarked.
Earlier in her own life, Duguay felt the pain of miscarriage. “I saw the fetus,” Duguay remembered, “and I didn’t know that the little thing in the middle was the size of my baby. I didn’t know that there was life before that, and yet it was big enough to hold in the palm of my hand… I will never forget that… It’s amazing that it took me all these years to realize that.”
To young women considering abortion, as well as to all those encouraging them, Duguay quotes Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life: “In giving his body, Christ teaches the meaning of love: I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion teaches the opposite of love: I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.”
Duguay realizes that many women suffer from guilt caused by their choices. “God is a loving God,” Duguay reminds. “He has forgiven, they just need to know that, that he loves them.”
Pro-Life Across America