Tag Archives: post-abortion

BC SNMAC Tour – A Week in Review

Written by Anastasia Pearse

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2 NCLN Staff Members, 4 Speakers, 5 Days, 7 Campuses and Over 10,000 Students Reached!

I first came into contact with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (SNMAC) in 2009 when I attended the NCLN Symposium in Toronto. I was moved to tears by the story of Angelina Steenstra, National Director of the Campaign in Canada, shared with us. The circumstances that led to her abortion, the regret and pain that followed, and her journey to healing opened my eyes in a new way to the pain that so many students on our university campuses feel because of abortion. With our age demographic – that of university students – undergoing the most abortions, it was clear that this message is so needed on Canadian campuses. But with our club in Victoria, it seemed too difficult to bring the campaign to campus. 

photo 2 (1)The next year, an NCLN staff member based out of Vancouver coordinated a tour of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to several British Columbian campuses. My club in Victoria jumped at the chance to have them on campus and I saw firsthand the impact that the testimonials of the speakers had on students.

Now, several years later, as an NCLN staff member, I was determined to help bring the campaign once again to campuses in BC. After months of planning, we had seven campus groups on board, four speakers confirmed, and pleasant weather in the forecast, and I was ready for a fruitful week of sharing the campaign.  But even from the very first day, I could tell this was more than fruitful: it was life-changing.

On their campuses, the clubs booked outdoor space in high traffic areas. We reached students through our resource tables as well as through posters stating “Women Do Regret Abortion,” “Men Regret Lost Fatherhood,” and “A Pregnant Woman Needs Support, Not Abortion.” The speakers shared their stories of abortion and their journeys of healing through a sound system, helping extend the reach of their message. Students walking by would stop to listen: sometimes they paused for a moment, sometimes for a minute, and often for the entire presentation. Club members, as well as myself and my colleague Kathleen Dunn, were on hand to distribute information as well as engage with our peers in conversation.

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Some students, after hearing the message and talking to one of us, left with resources in hand, seeking to give them to people they knew who had experienced abortion, or to use themselves as they started on a path to healing. We saw lives transformed in front of us with women breaking their silence about their abortion stories – one woman after 50 years – and leaving with a sense of hope. We estimate that we reached over 10,000 students in those 5 days, not including those who encountered the message through student newspaper coverage, discussions in their classrooms, and social media discussion.

The campaign’s impact also extended to the pro-life students and to the speakers themselves. The pro-life students saw the reach the campaign had and were even more convicted and encouraged to be active in sharing the pro-life message. The speakers shared their testimonies multiple times over the 5 days, but by the end of the week felt more fulfilled than fatigued, as they saw the impact they had, and felt the support from each other.

For myself, I was truly inspired: inspired by the speakers’ heart-felt witness to the cause; inspired by the pro-life students’ energy and determination to reach out with the message; and inspired by the students who were open to listening to our message and sharing their stories with us.

It is heart-wrenching to encounter so many young men and women who have been hurt by abortion, but I have a great deal of hope for our generation. I have hope because I see pro-life students becoming leaders who are reaching out with compassion to help their peers, and I have hope because I have seen firsthand how the pro-life message is touching students on campus.
Thank you to all those who supported this campaign! If you’d like to help continue making these campaigns possible, please consider supporting our work financially: www.ncln.ca/donate

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To hear the testimonies that were heard on BC Campuses, visit our Youtube Channel! 

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To see more pictures from the Campus Tour, visit our Facebook page!

Life Fair Attracts Attention at Guelph

By Rebecca Richmond, NCLN Executive Director

March has been a busy month for pro-life students from coast-to-coast as they’ve hosted large events to educate their campus on life issues.  At the University of Guelph, the pro-life club, Guelph Life Choice, hosted a Life Fair with fetal development information.  Their displays attracted some counter-protesters but that didn’t prevent many interested students from stopping by to learn more, many of whom engaged in good discussions on the issue of abortion with the club members.

The event also attracted media attention from the campus paper and the campus radio station.  The campus paper interviewed the club as well as the organizer of the pro-choice counter-protest, who is also the Student Association Local Affairs Commissioner.  What I thought was interesting was that the pro-choice organizer  “helped in putting together the pro-choice display with the support of the CSA, the Wellness Centre and other community groups”, clearly showing the support the pro-choice movement has on campus.

The organizer was quite concerned with Life Choice’s material and images (aka. fetal development pictures) and was quoted as saying,

“I think my primary concern is that it could be really triggering for people….Then to have displays like this, that kind of drive home those messages [that] this is something you should feel guilty about, this is something you should feel ashamed of, that you’ve made the wrong decision. That’s kind of my primary concern, [that] the students who have had abortions, or who are pro-choice, feel isolated and made to feel guilty and ashamed of who they are and the experiences that they’ve had…”

(I would like to know if they also organize pro-choice displays during classes on embryology or human development, or any class that would include pictures or descriptions of fetal development….)

She is correct though, in so far as fetal development photos can be triggers for those who have undergone abortions.  But post-abortive women also are triggered by children, dates (like the due date for their unborn child), the sight of doctors, the sound of a vacuum, and the list goes on.  Angelina Steenstra, for example, in an interview on Roadkill Radio, described how she avoided the dentist for years because it triggered memories of her abortion.

But the issue is not the trigger but the trauma of the abortion that they underwent.  Those triggers can be painful but that does not mean we can hide the issue so as to avoid offending someone.  In fact, those moments are opportunities for women (and men) to stop and deal with the pain of her (their) abortions.  Life Choice, like all other clubs, is not interested in condemning but in educating, which includes offering help to post-abortive men and women as they grapple with their pain.

The event attracted the attention of the campus radio station which then did a full hour show on the issue of abortion, interviewing Hanna Barlow, President of Guelph Life Choice, myself, and pro-choice representatives.  (The show can be heard here.)

(Pictures of the event to come.)

Her Story

by Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director

I had the pleasure of getting to know an amazing young woman named McKenzie this summer.   She shares her story of abortion and healing in the video below, produced by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

 

With the overwhelming amount of abortions in Canada each year, there are an equal number of men and women who are impacted by the consequences of their “choice”.