The sun streaks through the patchy white clouds and the breeze blows cold off the bay against Moriah Nelson’s face as she sits alone on a corner in Eureka. Next to her are white signs with black lettering stating the message of her protest.
“Pray to End Abortion,” the sign reads.
Nelson, 25, has been involved in anti-abortion activism for three years now, working with the Eureka branch of the 40 Days for Life.
This is a protest that goes on throughout the length of Christian Lent, where protesters sit outside of Planned Parenthood in a peaceful demonstration.
“It is compassion and Christ-like love that will change and help these women,” Nelson said.
Nelson said that when she first found out about abortion, she was horrified.
“I had a lot of misplaced anger as a teenager,” Nelson said.
Nelson began her anti-abortion activism, as well as volunteering, at a local Pregnancy Care Center in order to initiate change. The center provides clothing and supplies to women and children in need, as well as hosting a medical facility equipped with volunteer nurses.
“I like being able to serve in a tangible way,” Nelson said, “Women say to us that they are so thankful.”
Nelson is the oldest of her eight siblings, the youngest is four. They all live together in their Eureka family home, and all of the children are part of a strong homeschool community.
The family is involved with activism in the community. Nelson said her grandfather was heavily involved in solving the homeless issue up until his passing in 2016. Her brother Courtland, 20, is continuing the legacy.
“We’re hoping we can build a relationship with the homeless and try to get them to a better place,” Courtland said.
Every Friday night, Courtland goes out with a group of his friends and some sandwiches to talk and pray with the homeless in Eureka. He is also involved with a pregnancy clinic, painting for them and serving at the annual banquet.
Courtland is not as active on the issue as his sister.
While Nelson’s family and service is a huge component of her life, another big focus is her future husband and upcoming wedding in September.
Her boyfriend Johnny Wisan, 25, is also a Eureka local currently working with at-risk children for an internship at a church in Wales. The program involves mentoring, praying and activities every night.
The couple met at the age of seven through the homeschool community and she said they immediately knew they would get married.
Nelson has been to Wales twice, and after their marriage, the couple plans to relocate if he is able to acquire a paid position at the church.
Though she has never left her childhood home and family, Nelson said that through prayer, she and Wisan realized that Wales was where they could best serve the children.
“How can I say I am pro-life if I don’t step up and make a change?” Nelson said.