National Campus Life Network > Blog > pro-life activism

Baggy Clothes and Baby Bumps: Day 1 of our Campus Campaign

by Anastasia Pearse, NCLN Western Campus Coordinator

She has to wear baggy clothes on campus, she told us. Because, as a pregnant student, she feels the stigma and felt embarrassed by the looks she received whenever her clothes revealed her growing belly.YNRL

She had stopped by our event with her boyfriend, intrigued by the images of the campaign that featured a young mom, her baby, and the title You’ll Never Regret Loving This Much. They were immediately interested in the community support for pregnant women that we mentioned; they hadn’t yet heard about the kind of resources that crisis pregnancy centres and organizations like Birthright can offer. That’s when they told us that they were pregnant.

They weren’t the only pregnant students we encountered yesterday at Simon Fraser University. We also met a student whose wife is 6 months pregnant. He was able to speak with a volunteer from a resource centre and will now be able to get the support he needs. Who knows how many other students we reached through our conversations and distribution of resources! Students drawn to the campaign also wanted to contribute, adding donations to a fund that will go towards supporting pregnant women in the community.


This event at SFU with SFU Lifeline is only one part of a campus tour NCLN has coordinated for British Columbia campuses this week. The resources feature information about what support exists in the community and are from LifeCanada’s You’ll Never Regret Loving This Much campaign. Through this partnership with LifeCanada, we are getting this critical information to the demographic that needs it so desperately. The campaign also features young moms sharing their personal stories of choosing life, even under difficult circumstances, in public places on campus.

Day 1 of this campaign revealed, yet again, why pro-life clubs are so essential on our campuses: we need to ensure that students get the information and support that they need – information and contacts we were able to provide to the pregnant students we encountered yesterday (and many more). We can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store!

For more information on the other campuses this campaign will be visiting, click here.

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Alumni Interview: Cassie Farrell!

Transferring from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy into Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, Cassie Farrell has had a double dose of campus pro-life activism! Through her years at both schools, Cassie remained actively involved in the student pro-life movement, and continues to remain an active witness for the unborn as an alumni. 


Campus(es): Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Holy Cross College at Notre Dame
Graduating year: 2012
Area of study: History, Philosophy
ProLife Club name: The Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu Pro-Life Club, Saints for Life
Years involved: 2007-2012
You were involved in pro-life work on more than one campus — what did your involvement on each look like? How were they different?
Leading a pro-life group on the OLSWA campus was an interesting experience given that the entire student body was either part of the club, or was at least supportive of the cause. The club was also in its inaugural stages given that it was started in the fall of 2007, and underwent several leadership changes following the tragic loss of founding members Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu, for whom the club is named. Local activism and supporting neighboring university pro-life groups was the emphasis, along with informing the student body on the broader pro-life issue and apologetics.  Being a pro-lifer is good, but being an informed pro-lifer who can articulate and argue for the cause of life is better. Leading Saints for Life was an entirely different experience, since the campus was much more of a mixed bag of many dissenting opinions, was much larger, and has an abortion facility within walking distance of the campus. This led me to employ entirely new methods while growing the club – including postering campaigns, holding regular vigil at the local abortion facility, sidewalk counseling, holding apologetics training for club members, debating students and professors, organizing attendance at the March for Life in DC, as well as holding special events including movie nights, and hosting guest speakers. My time at OLSWA definitely prepared me for what was to come at Holy Cross College, and I was always very busy!
What impacted you the most about campus pro-life activism?
I was pulled into pro-life activism by Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu, and they influenced me to persevere in this cause for life. I would have remained very ignorant if it wasn’t for them, and I would not have cared to do anything about abortion if they hadn’t brought it to my attention. My time spent outside of abortion mills was also formative, and being on the front-lines solidified my beliefs and ideas about the horror of abortion and the injustice it is to women and femininity. Dialogue with those who disagreed with me, and witnessing changes of heart as well as stubborn refusal to conform to reality also spoke volumes about human nature in general, and was a valuable lesson moving forward.  
How does your past involvement in campus pro-life work affect your activities today?
I am always ready and willing to defend life – no  matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing. I am always prepared to speak up. 
Would you encourage current pro-life students to get involved in campus activism? What is the main reason why?
Of course I would! If abortion is what we say it is, then the only response is to act. If you don’t act, then I would re-evaluate what you’re thinking and what you’re doing. Not to mention that abortion is too common in the undergrad demographic, and there could be babies in your immediate midst who need you! Have courage,  because you have something to offer and you are needed!
We admire you for your dedication and leadership, Cassie! Thank you for your willingness to be a bold advocate for the unborn in every environment you’ve found yourself in!
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Saving Babies on Campus

By Amber Miller

Amber Miller works for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical ReformThis post was originally published by CCBR at unmaskingchoice.ca.  It has been posted here with the permission of CCBR.

Before I understood and appreciated the eminence of having a vision, my days of “pro-life activism” were spent organizing meetings for my high school’s pro-life club. At the time, I considered myself to be a kind of pro-life “leader” in my school. This, of course, was before a speaker asked me: “What do we wish to accomplish as pro-life club?” And: “Were our projects bringing us closer to our goal?” Overwhelmed and embarrassed, I realized that I had spent four years doing projects that I didn’t even know were effective. In addition, I failed to inspire the other students because I didn’t see how I could make a difference outside the tiny parameters of the club I founded.

After graduating from high school, I joined McMaster University’s pro-life club, Lifeline. This group definitely had the structure my high school club had lacked, and thus accomplished more. Last February, Lifeline hosted a debate with Stephanie Gray. Watching her present for the first time, I remember being highly impressed with her professionalism and conviction. I wondered what her “club” was like. This summer, I got the exhilarating opportunity to find out. On the New Abortion Caravan, I realized that in order to EndtheKilling of pre-born children, pro-life organizations (and indeed the movement as a whole) need a unified vision for what we hope to accomplish. It is not enough to simply “be” pro-life. Each of us must make the conscious decision to “do” pro-life, and do it well.

As a former student, I understand the difficulties that come with doing part-time pro-life work while focusing on your studies. From scrambling for school supplies to cramming for exams, school in itself is a full time job. Does that mean that you can’t make positive change in the pro-life movement until you graduate or retire? No! It means that, because you’re time is divided, the time you set aside for pro-life work should be spent doing the most effective projects possible. As you get your club organized for the school year, I challenge you to ask yourself:

  • What are our strengths as a club? What are our weaknesses?
  • What are our long-term goals?
  • What short-term projects will help us accomplish these goals? Are they feesable?
  • What other pro-life organizations could we benefit from networking with?
  • What challenges have we faced in the past?
  • How can we invite and keep committed members this year?

One project I would recommend is “Choice” Chain: a relatively inexpensive, simple to execute project that can be taken virtually anywhere. Perhaps, instead of hosting a 2 hour after-school meeting every month, dedicate your lunch hour to doing “Choice” Chain in front of your school. Show those who are most susceptible to the lie of “choice” what abortion really looks like. Sound scary? So is the mass murder of our generation. If these tactics work (which they certainly do), then why not make the most of them for the greatest impact?

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Life on the Pro-Life Track

Anastasia Pearse is a hurdler. Not only did she overcome obstacles as a student leader at the University of Victoria, but, as NCLN’s Western Campus Coordinator, she has supported and assisted pro-life students across western Canada as they bring the pro-life message to their campuses. Oh, and she also literally jumps hurdles.

This summer, Anastasia starts a Masters of Leadership program at Trinity Western University. This program is a great fit for Anastasia, allowing her to further explore various aspects of leadership as they apply to non-profit organizations while complementing her ongoing full-time work with NCLN.

In addition to studying, Anastasia will also be competing for the Trinity Western Spartan’s Track and Field team. Aside from being a busy pro-life activist, Anastasia trains and competes at a competitive level in track and field, specializing in the 400m hurdles. Her accomplishments on the track include being part of the BC team for 5 years and coming 3rd in the 400m hurdle race at the national championships in 2010.

In a press release from Trinity Western University last month, Spartans coach Laurier Primeau praised Anastasia’s experience, both on and off the field. “Anastasia brings multiple gifts to Trinity Western, not the least of which is experience,” he said. “As a new program we are very heavy with freshman and sophomores, so to add someone of Anastasia’s calibre with multiple years of varsity track and field under her belt is great from both an athletic and leadership perspective. Her not-for-profit work and versatility in sprints and hurdles gives Trinity Western an incredibly well rounded student-athlete.”

Supporting Anastasia in NCLN’s Western Office is Kathleen Dunn, recently hired to work part-time in our western office. Kathleen will also be continuing her studies at Trinity Western University.

We are excited for Anastasia to have the opportunity to combine her passion for leadership and her talents in athletics with her pro-life work with NCLN. We will be cheering her on as she clears the hurdles of track as well as those of pro-life activism.


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