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National Campus Life Network > Blog > silent no more awareness campaign

Youth Protecting Youth: Firsthand Account of the Results of Abortion

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by YPY Info Officer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

“Choice” Chain is a pro-life activism activity that involves engaging passersby in dialogue while holding photographs that show what abortion does to a baby. I participate in Choice Chain in hopes that fewer abortions will happen as a result. Sometimes people assume that condemning women who have had abortions is the goal, but it’s not at all. Showing the pictures is an effective way to spread the life-saving truth: abortion kills a human being. I’ve seen tons of positive interactions and changed minds; I’ve even met a child who was saved from abortion when his mother saw the signs.

But during “Choice” Chain a few weeks ago, it was my turn to learn about abortion. A few women have told me that they had abortions. When that happens I try to listen compassionately to their stories, which are tragically so common. But as soon as we began the display on that Saturday, I got the chance to learn from someone with a different kind of experience.

At first I assumed the man who approached me was being rude. He pointed to the picture of the aborted fetus: “I’ve cut up thousands of those.” But I sensed a sincerity that belied his words. “What do you mean?” I asked. He is a pathologist at Victoria General Hospital. He had indeed cut pieces from thousands of aborted babies for samples. I didn’t ask his name, and I don’t think he would’ve given it. He thought we might be interested to hear what he had to say because we’re not likely to get such information otherwise. He was right. I’ve known for a while that approximately 300 abortions happen every day in Canada but I’d never heard about it firsthand from someone who deals with the aftermath.

“Some are quite a bit older than that” he said, pointing to a sign showing an 8-week old aborted fetus. He had obtained tissue from thousands of dead babies every year, some of which were at least as old as the 2nd-trimester neonatal preemies that, instead of being aborted, were treated with delicate care. He described gently and carefully obtaining blood from preemies that could just as easily have been aborted, sampled and thrown in the trash. He said “I used to be more on the pro-choice side, but seeing so many of these makes you think about it.” When you take samples from aborted fetuses you can see the body parts. It makes you think twice “when someone drops a jar and the abortion falls on the floor and blood goes everywhere and everybody can see what it is.” [this is a graphic video showing "what it is"]

He thought we’d be interested to know just who gets abortions. In one sense, the age of the woman doesn’t matter; situations surrounding abortions are often complicated, but every innocent death is tragic. Apparently it’s most common for young women to have abortions. Not surprising. But then women from 20 to about 35 don’t get many. The 2nd most common group is women of about 35 and up. That was surprising. He suggested they’d had enough kids and didn’t want larger families, or they didn’t want the higher risk of complications associated with pregnancies near the end of childbearing years.

He really didn’t like how “just anybody can get an abortion for any reason” but he didn’t say he was pro-life. He was adamant to discuss it with “ideology aside.” He didn’t get behind religious or other “ideological” oppositions to abortion. Instead he told me that he just wants people to know the truth. I should’ve pointed out that many of us who call ourselves “pro-life” have the same straightforward, untwisted aim.

He said that everyone is sent down to Victoria to get abortions; none are performed up-island. He attributed this to pro-life activism in some communities on Vancouver Island. I’m not sure if that’s common knowledge or not but I hope this is encouraging to those activists. He also noted that whenever a medical study comes out that is not in favour of abortion, even in the interest of the health of the mother, it is shouted down. “Ideology aside” again, he was frustrated that, as a medical person, you can’t even discuss these possibilities.

He thanked us for being out on the street and said that people need to see the pictures. I offered him a business card for “Silent No More,” thinking that their healing mission might help him. He said he didn’t need it – “I’m fine.” Despite his confidence, I think he wished, with some bitterness, that everyone knew what he did for a living. He seemed easygoing, confident and friendly. Looking back now I wonder why he opened our conversation so candidly: “I’ve cut up thousands of those.” What do you say to that? I first thought he was trying to get a rise out of me so I was calm. But maybe outrage would have been better – maybe outrage would have validated his experience. Because abortion is truly outrageous, and this man knew it firsthand.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Silent No More makes an impact

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyinfoofficer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Last Monday, March 28th, about 50 people went out of their way to stop in front of the SUB and listen to the stories of three courageous women as they spoke of how abortion has affected each of their lives. The fact that these women were sharing from their own experiences made the presentation quite powerful. A number of students who heard the presentation reflected on what the message meant to them. Kimberlee Graham-Knight, the event’s emcee, had this to share:

I was riveted by the power of all three presenters’ speeches. I find it’s difficult to get first-hand accounts of abortion, because it is not a subject I feel comfortable asking about, nor one that women freely talk about. After the presentation, being a healthcare worker, I asked a colleague for her anonymous experience with women who have had abortions (I was emboldened by the presentation) and she said it was all but universal that these women have extreme difficulties post-procedure. She added that many of them feel few immediate effects, but develop psychological problems even a decade later. This made me think of cigarettes: perhaps I want to smoke, but I should be made aware of the long-term effects.

Another student shared this with us after hearing the stories:

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign was a shocking snapshot of life pre and post-abortion. I was surprised to hear that all three speakers chose the abortion unwillingly and out of fear, to mask the shame of admitting they were pregnant. It was particularly numbing to know that one woman’s mother and grandmother drove her to the hospital, exterminating their grandchild and great-grandchild in the process.

 

Although a large number of the students who came to listen to the speakers were pro-life, a large group of other students professing to be pro-choice were also present. One of YPY’s executive members shared this experience after interacting with some students:

I had the privilage of speaking with a number of students throughout the day, some of whom professed to be “pro-choice” and some of whom professed to be pro-life. … Two of the students who had stopped to observe the campaign outside of the library said that they were personally opposed to abortion. After asking them whether or not they were personally opposed to rape, and whether or not they felt they would be placing their subjective morality on someone who was not opposed to rape, they came to understand why abortion is not merely a matter of personal preference or belief. If any human life has value, then all must have equal value and must be protected. 

 We are extremely thankful for the people from Silent No More Awareness Campaign for coming and sharing with us their experiences. Many students were touched and many more went away thinking about the issue and how it not only affects the lives of pre-born children, but all who are involved in the choice of abortion. For more information about the Campaign or more personal testimonies about abortion, see their website here.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Silent No More Awareness Campaign coming to UVic

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyinfoofficer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

March 28th, 2:15 PM, Student Union Building, UVic

 

In my experience, one of the most powerful ways that I have come to know and accept certain ideas or messages into my own life is through personal testimony. Learning through the personal testimony of others can be a powerful way to learn how to deal with a personal situation. As a club that seeks to uphold the dignity of all human beings, it is important for us to remember that not only does abortion kill pre-born human beings, but also that it may deeply hurt the people who make that choice.

 

YPY invites you to come hear a group of speakers from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign as they share their personal stories: how abortion affected their lives, and how they have healed. They speak from experience and their stories are very powerful. They will be speaking outside the Student Union Building at around 2:15 on Monday March 28th.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.