It’s an unassuming building on a quiet street; squat and red-bricked, with a short, neat lawn, and an American flag flapping in the mild breeze of an already humid Florida morning. Periodically, cars pulled into the driveway on the right and eased past the cluster of people on its edge. These people standing to the side held hope in their hands, arms extended; some cars stopped and took the information, others didn’t. After parking in the back, men and women walked in twos and threes to the front entrance, hugging the walls.
I don’t see the expression on his face, but I can hear the smugness in his voice.
"It's kind of sad don't you think, that there's so much hate in the world, to be putting that out instead of acceptance?"
The student says these words to me as I kneel below him, trying to pick up a stack of fallen pamphlets with half-numbed, gloved hands. He’d just watched another student kick my sign to the ground and send the pamphlets tumbling.
One thing you realize while doing pro-life work is that everyone you encounter seems deeply wounded. The visceral reality of abortion brought to light tends to dredge up pain—pain that existed already, but in many cases was pushed down and kept quiet.
“You think I’m a demon,” one woman said to me after revealing she’d had an abortion, her voice on the verge of cracking. She turned and walked briskly away before I could finish saying, “No, I don’t.” Please come back, I wanted to say to her. You are not a demon. I’m sorry you’re in pain.
I began university the same way a lot of pro-life students do: quietly.
During my first year, I did nothing. Naturally reserved to begin with, and at a small university with no pro-life club to speak of, I kept my head down. In second year, I transferred to a larger school and did join the pro-life club, but my involvement capped out at attending meetings and half-heartedly handing out some event flyers.