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  • Writer's pictureAmy Schlichter

Standing up or Standing by

In 1964, one of the most famous murders in America took place.

Twenty-eight year old Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death while her neighbors watched through their windows and did nothing. At one point, she managed to make it to the bottom of a stairwell, and her neighbor saw her and turned away.

In psychological terms, her neighbors were affected by what is known as the bystander effect. When a group of people witnesses an event, they feel as though their moral obligation to act is diminished by the presence of other witnesses.

Why should you act when all these other people are merely standing by? Nobody wants to be the odd one out and go against the crowd, and the larger the crowd, the larger the effect.

Kitty’s murder has become the textbook example of the bystander effect. If only one person had taken the initiative to act- even by simply calling the police in time- Kitty’s life could have been saved.

We all like to think that we would have been the one person to act. However, many unborn humans are killed every day in America by abortion while the people around them quietly live their lives ignoring this atrocity.

Those who call themselves pro-life but who do not feel as though it is their job to stand up for those being murdered are no better than the neighbors who refused to help Kitty Genovese.

The bystander effect poses a huge problem for the pro-life cause. When an entire country refuses to acknowledge the crime that is occurring, it’s easy to think that it is not your responsibility to do something about it.

It’s easy to think that it isn’t your job to stop it when you’re only one person. But one person can make a big difference.

One person can be a sidewalk counselor and convince a woman to keep her baby. One person can make a call to their representatives. One person can refuse to vote for someone who would compromise the right to life.

There are so many things that one person can do to help save lives, and some of them really are as easy as making a phone call.

Don’t refuse help to those in need just because others pretend it’s not happening.

Are you looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of pre-born babies in Indiana?

Visit our website at and click the “Be a volunteer” button. Or, you can DONATE NOW to help Hoosiers for Life fight for all Hoosier babies to have protection at conception.

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