At CCBR, the most engagement we have with students is usually at high-school “Choice” Chain. We’ve found this particular initiative to be very effective; teenagers are just beginning to realize that they’ve been lied to. They’ve been told that sex and abortion aren’t a big deal, but as many of them look back on fractured families and broken relationships, many of them are starting to wonder if this is really a system that will make them happy. Countless conversations have shown that high-schoolers are willing to consider that there might be a better way, and many agree that it makes logical sense that human rights belong to all human beings, regardless of age.
Sometimes, though, we get the chance to not just stand outside of schools, but to speak within them. I’ve had the opportunity in the past couple of months to speak at several Catholic and Reformed high-schools, and my experiences with these presentations have just reemphasized the importance of speaking to teenagers about abortion.
In Catholic schools, many of the students are pro-life with exceptions, or even completely pro-choice. Having the chance to share with them why the pro-life position makes sense and to answer their questions is so important, and I’ve found that many students are receptive to what I have to say. For those students who are already pro-life, I can see on their faces how excited they are to be given easy arguments to help them defend their position. I’ve had students come to me after my presentation and excitedly ask if they can give me a hug, finally feeling validated in their pro-life views. One teacher emailed me after a presentation to tell me that class discussions in the days following found pro-life students more willing to voice their views. She relayed students having discussions about abortion with their families, girlfriends, and boyfriends for the first time.
In the Reformed schools I’ve spoken at, pro-choice rhetoric hadn’t seeped in to quite the same degree. However, many students haven’t really thought about why they’re pro-life, or why they should do anything about abortion. Presentations in these schools have resulted in students being convicted to become active in the pro-life movement. Some have applied for CCBR’s internship, and a very successful community group, Niagara Against Abortion, has been set up as a result. Even more importantly, it’s both foolish and dangerous to believe that abortion doesn’t happen in Christian churches. Teenagers who know that abortion is wrong but don’t understand it’s full implications, may be caught in situations where they are afraid to reach out to their parents or teachers for help. In a moment of desperation, abortion may seem to be a way out.
It’s always interesting to watch their faces. Some students walk in with smirks on their faces, that slowly fade as they become more uncertain about their pro-choice position. Others look nervous, some expectant. Some fold their arms and lean back, while others sit forward, clearly interested. I appreciate the opportunities to speak to them more than I can say. It hasn’t been that long since I’ve been in high-school, and many of my opinions were formed during those years, by good teachers and powerful presentations. I can only hope that our efforts in reaching out are helping students in the same way.