I grew up in a Catholic home, and I have always been pro-life. Even though abortion was not talked about while I was growing up, I knew my family believed abortion was wrong. I lived in a bubble; I thought everyone around me was pro-life too. That bubble didn’t burst until I was in my Grade 12 English class.
I decided to go to the March for Life for the first time in 2015. Because going to the March would mean that I would miss school for a few days and I wanted to be able to easily catch up, I told my English teacher so that I would know what I was missing. After talking to my teacher, he decided to start that class by asking my fellow classmates who was pro-choice and who was pro-life. While I was surprised that two girls in my class put their hands up and proudly said they were pro-choice, I was absolutely stunned when I realized that I was the only person in the room who put her hand up for being pro-life. When I saw the angry glares of the two girls who had said they were pro-choice, I felt nervous. My teacher read our faces quickly and knew this conversation would not go well if it continued. He quickly changed the topic and continued with the lesson he had in mind for that day.
If two classmates that I had known since elementary school could scare me just by their angry glares, thinking of what others could do to me because they are angry with me for being pro-life made me terrified. Part of the reason I thought of these possibilities was because my sister told me of a horrible experience she had while at the March for Life a few years before. So for me, the idea of going to the March for Life was scary, and yet I was excited to prove I could stand up for what I believed in.
I went to the March with friends who I sang with in the school choir. They could tell I was scared, so during the March, they made sure I was in the middle of the crowd. One of my friends pulled out his guitar, and we began to sing praise and worship music. Eventually other people who marched with us sang along as well, and singing together gave us a more unified front. This calmed me down, and I can easily say that my overall impression of the March for Life was that it was an experience I will never forget.
One of the reasons I will never forget this experience is because on this trip I saw abortion victim photography for the first time. After the March, there was a conference in a banquet hall. While I do not remember who was speaking, I remember the slides they showed describing the serious mental health effects abortion has on women. Most of all, I remember the abortion video that was played. Seeing those babies treated so inhumanely, the way the abortionists simply wrapped them up in a cloth and showed no respect for their broken bodies, first shocked me and then made me angry. I knew simply believing abortion was wrong was not good enough to end the killing: I knew I had to do more. I had to get over my fears and my insecurities and learn how to go about speaking the truth. I knew the majority of my English classmates did not put their hands up when my teacher asked who is pro-life because they never thought about abortion. They never thought about how abortion intentionally kills an innocent child in a way that is unthinkable. While I knew I had to do more in the pro-life movement, I didn’t know where to begin or how to start.
It took another three years for me to find an opportunity to take action in my university pro-life club. One of the great things about being in university is that in the diversity of clubs on campus, there is often a pro-life club. You just have to look for it—or in my case, be best friends with the newly elected president of the club, and have them ask you to be a member. The amazing part about joining a university pro-life club is that I met new people who have the same convictions as me in regards to life, and I learned by example how to dive in and take action to save babies.
It was because I was a member of this club that I had the opportunity to meet Devorah, the Eastern Outreach Director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR). She gave an inspiring presentation to our pro-life group on campus, focusing on the importance of using abortion victim photography. After the presentation was over and nearly everyone had left, I decided to stay and talk to Devorah. This eventually led me to have the unique opportunity of becoming a CCBR intern this summer. As an intern, I have learned so much and am so grateful that I have already had the chance to win hearts, change minds and save lives. I don’t always feel very different from the shy, uncertain high-school student I once was, but becoming a CCBR intern was an important step in becoming the experienced pro-life advocate I’ve wanted to be ever since I first realized what abortion actually is.