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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!

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uOttawa Students For Life: Beautiful Poem: Ghost in the House

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Found on Big Blue Wave, this poem was written by a woman named Amanda and sent in a letter to Priests for Life. It is beautiful and haunting.

Ghost in the House~

Come, child. It’s evening. Come to me
And sit with me once more.
Let’s rock here while the others sleep.
Let’s see — your sister’s four;
The baby is three months today;
Your little brother’s two,
And I have not decided if I’ll tell them about you.

And you, you would be eight this year.
I do not know your name.
The color of your eyes, or hair,
Or where, or how, to blame.
The fear was all, the fear of change,
For I saw change as loss.
Against my dreams, my plans, my life
You seemed so small a cost,
Not knowing how your presence
Altered how I felt and thought,
Not knowing how you changed me
In the mix the hormones brought.
And you were not a child to me
But sickness, pain, and fear –
But oh, I know, I know you now,
Now that these three are here!
Your scent, your weight within my arms,
Your head upon my breast -
I did not know these things when I decided what was best.

And I am lost and so confused
And don’t know how to feel,
For you, who were an illness,
Every year become more real;
Your sister and your brothers,
They proclaim you as they grow.
They make it harder still to face
The coldest truth I know:
That knowing – feeling – only
What I knew and felt back then,
I cannot say I would not make
This saddest choice again.

Oh! My little lost unknown,
My first and neverborn,
Forgive the ignorance that sent you
To the dark, unmourned!

And no, it isn’t every day
I find your shadow here;
Most times I’m far too busy
For reflection or for tears,
But sometimes, when the children sleep
And I have time alone,
I sit down in the dark, and rock,
And bring my baby home.

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Healing is possible after abortion. Groups like Rachel’s Vineyard offer caring, confidential retreats and there are numbers to call like the National Helpline for Abortion Recovery: 1-866-482-LIFE.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.