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It’s Worth It

Clarissa Canaria, Central Campus Coordinator

Mary Ward SFL
Clarissa and Mary of Mary Ward Students for Life

“It’s been a challenging few weeks,” said Mary to me when I had visited her high school this past school year.  She had stumbled upon NCLN’s website because she was looking for support and resources to start a pro-life club.  We had been in touch over the last few months, and in January, the club was approved.

“Friends who were supportive of the club at first backed away when we they realized we as a club were very much anti-abortion in all circumstances,” she continued.  “I mean, we’re still friends, but it’s not the same. Something in the way we have talked has changed.”

I am sure those of us involved in the pro-life movepment have experienced some variation of this.  I am also certain that many people out there that want to do more for preborn children are fearful of these kinds of changes.  I used to ask myself these questions all the time: What will my friends think of me?  How do I make them understand how important this is to me?  How do I express my thoughts in a way they’ll understand?

Before I could reply, ready to share my own thoughts and experiences, Mary added cheerfully: “It’s okay though. I know it’s worth it.”

Mary has realized what I wish I had realized sooner: with 100,000 babies in the womb being killed every year in our country and countless more men and women hurt by abortion the changes in our personal relationships, whether temporary or permanent, often pale in comparison. 

Though I still get nervous telling people I first meet about my work, I am reminded that they may never hear about the pro-life issue and the destruction abortion brings if I don’t talk about it.  When family members ask how my work is going, I share the challenges and the hope it brings to my life with joy.  When someone asks me with concern, “Do you really think you can change the culture and end abortion?” I think about the people whose lives have been changed for the better by the pro-life student leaders I serve, my incredible colleagues, and the pro-life movement at large, and answer with a resounding “Yes”.

Do we wish more people understood?  Definitely.  Do we want people to like us?  Sure.  Should setbacks and sacrifices in our relationships hinder us from sharing the truth?

Absolutely not.  Because it’s worth it.

 

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(If you would like to get involved in pro-life activism this summer and in the upcoming semester, or have any questions, contact me at central@ncln.ca and check out www.ncln.ca/events/SummerActivism)

(To those whose lives are impacted regularly by the joys and challenges that come with my own full-time pro-life work, and to the friends and family who may at times be at odds with what I do but still bless me with their support and their time, this post was written with you in mind, in immense gratitude.  A special thanks to Mary as well for the inspiration she has been to me in her great resolve and courage to bring the pro-life message to her high school – which she has done quite successfully!)

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Press Release: Pro-Life Club Banned at Trent University in Peterborough

Press Release

PRO-LIFE CLUB BANNED AT TRENT UNIVERSITY IN PETERBOROUGH

PETERBOROUGH, ON (February 7, 2013) – Students applying to form a pro-life club at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario were rejected by the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) last week on grounds that such a club would be ‘exclusive’. Trent Lifeline has secured legal counsel and is demanding that the decision be reversed and club status granted.

“The purpose of Trent Lifeline is to engage with the student body regardless of what someone’s position is on abortion,” said Heather Anne Robertson, President of Trent Lifeline. “Anyone can bring their ideas and opinions to the discussion. To exclude us in the name of being inclusive is absurd.”

In response to its application, Trent Lifeline received an email from the TCSA Club & Group Coordinator informing them that “campaigning for pro life or pro choice is not allowed on campus as well since there is [sic] so many opinions to this it can lead to a very exclusive group, while all clubs at Trent University must be inclusive.” After requesting more information on the policies upon which this decision was based, Lifeline was informed that a policy could not be sent “as there is one working under way.”

“The student association is supposed to serve its members and not selectively exclude one group of them who take a position on a controversial human rights issue,” stated Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of the National Campus Life Network, an organization that exists to support pro-life students in Canada. “The fact that the TCSA may be re-writing its policies to justify its discrimination against this club is also disconcerting.”

A letter from Trent Lifeline’s legal counsel, John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, was sent to the President of TCSA on February 6th. This letter calls for a reversal of the decision to reject Lifeline’s application, and explains why and how the student union’s conduct is illegal.

“We hope that the student union will reverse its decision, thereby removing the need for court action. However, if necessary, we will seek a Court Order to uphold the free speech rights and freedom of association rights of these students,” stated Carpay.

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For media requests, please contact:

John Carpay, President, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, 403-619-8014 or jcarpay@jccf.ca

Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of the National Campus Life Network, director@ncln.ca, 416 388 0461.

Heather Anne Robertson, President of Trent Lifeline, lifelinetrent@gmail.com, http://trentlifeline.ncln.ca

 

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