In Grade 11, my biology class went to the human cadaver lab at the University of Guelph. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school yet but after that visit I knew that I wanted to learn a lot about the human body. Maybe I’d become a physiotherapist.
October 18, 2018
I’ve been asked many times why I decided, back in university, to change my career plans and join the pro-life movement full-time. I’ve told that story many times—how in my first year of classes, I looked up “abortion” on the Internet after comments from my professor and saw a video that transformed my view of the issue in minutes.
October 15, 2018
Alex had stopped, curious at our images and at my question— “What do you think about abortion?”—as he was heading to class. “I’m pro-choice,” he answered. “Pro-choice for what?” I asked. “Uh, just pro-choice. I’m not sure what you mean.” “Sorry,” I replied, “I don’t mean to be confusing. I’ve talked to a few people today who said they were pro-choice, but they all had different definitions of it. What does being pro-choice mean to you?”
October 11, 2018
I don’t remember the first time I learned about abortion, but I do remember becoming increasingly aware of groups that were working to combat it. I remember picking up brochures in the back of churches to take home. I’d collect these brochures and newspaper articles and keep them in a yellow folder. I don’t know what I intended to do with this folder and its contents, but even then, back in elementary school, I knew this was important information and it seemed like something worth saving.
October 4, 2018
“All right, boys and girls,” the librarian said, clapping her hands. “Sit down campfire style.” We rushed to our places, maneuvering ourselves next to who was our best friend that day, settling down much quicker than we usually did. It was story time, and sitting in a semi-circle on the carpet in a room filled with the smell of books was our favourite time of day. I don’t remember many of these times. The times sitting campfire style in the children’s section of the library ended about fifteen years ago, for me. I was too young to realize how soon these times would end.
October 1, 2018
The Beginning It all started on April 1st, 2011. As a member of the University of Lethbridge Students for Life, I was invited to go to Calgary to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign outside of the abortion clinic. Although I knew I was pro-life, I had never really thought about abortion before, and I signed up for that trip more for the opportunity to go to the big city than for any real passion for or commitment to the pro-life movement.
September 28, 2018
It’s 5:30AM. My alarm clock goes off. Groggily, I turn it off and roll out of bed. It’s time to get up, go out, and start working to save babies. An hour later finds me driving to today’s postcarding location. I chat with Kim—one of our summer interns—about each other’s weekends. It crosses my mind how if it wasn’t for this awful issue of abortion, I probably never would have met Kim. I hate abortion—but I’m glad I know Kim.
September 24, 2018
Many of us as CCBR staff have had people say to us: “I think what you’re doing is great, but I could never do it.” Perhaps some people wonder who we actually are and how we started doing pro-life work. For most of us, being a full or part-time pro-life advocate was never our intention. Each of us came to this work from a different background. This next series is meant to show that you don’t have to have special gifts or talents to do this work: you just have to care. ~ Justina Van Manen
September 20, 2018
Mary Turner’s story died when she died. Mary Turner’s protest died when she died. Mary Turner’s pre-born baby died when she died. Mary Turner’s name died when she died. You don’t recognize her name. You don’t recognize her story. And if you were there on May 19th, 1918, you wouldn’t recognize her body either. Mary Turner was a mother of three. She was a wife to Hayes Turner. She was a woman of colour—and that’s why she was killed in Lowndes County, Georgia.
September 17, 2018
Her story broke my heart. It was one of pain, brokenness, loss, sorrow, loneliness – all carefully hidden under a mask of anger and bitterness. From her blazing eyes and the way she yelled at me, the mask was all I saw. But from her words, the buried pain was obvious. She’d survived sexual assault. She’d had an abortion. And it had happened when she was only eight years old. What could I say? I could do nothing to take away her pain. I couldn’t even imagine what she was going through. I couldn’t begin to understand how much the memory hurt.