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National Campus Life Network > Blog > Silent No More

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: People Deserve Better

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

by Fr. Matthew Wertin

Whatever anyone thinks about it politically, ethically, morally, or even religiously, one thing is certain – abortion does serious damage.  Women still die from abortion, abortion creates physical, emotional, spiritual, and behavioral problems for women, abortion is a form of racism against poor and ethnic women, abortion has lead to increased violence against pregnant women, women are pressured and coerced by family, friends, employers, institutions of learning, and sexual predators into having abortions, abortion is a band-aid that allows society to abandon women, and abortion negatively affects future relationships.  (To confirm these findings and to learn more, please go to www.silentnomoreawareness.org, or get a copy of their work, “What’s So Bad About Abortion?”)

The voices of women who have had abortions are resoundingly clear – “abortion hurts women.”  One woman, Sabrina, said, “My life just started spiraling down in destruction, and I attempted suicide three times.”  Another, Shelly, said, “Abortion did not end my pain; it began it.”  Now men are even coming forward saying, “We regret lost fatherhood through abortion.”  One man, Scott, said, “I didn’t defend the life of my own daughter.  Based on misinformation, selfishness, fear, shame, I let her die to an abortionist’s knife and I died the same day.”  The list of negative emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual effects of abortion is hauntingly grave and long.

Just as every community, big and small, has women who are experiencing or will experience an unplanned pregnancy and need alternatives to abortion, so too every community has women and men, families, who are suffering from the effects of an abortion and need healing.  The fear, the pain, the confusion, as well as the need for guidance, help, and compassion are real and present in each of these situations and in each of these people.  It should be a priority of every community, therefore, in striving to meet the needs of others in their community, to do what they can, by offering resources, compassionate care, and social action, to bring about an end to abortion, give help to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, and extend healing, forgiveness, and mercy to those suffering from the wounds of abortion.  Abortion hurts everyone and helps no one, which is why we can and should join together in making it unnecessary, unthinkable, and unused as an option for anyone in any circumstance.  Women deserve better than abortion.  Men deserve better than abortion.  Every member of the human family deserves better than abortion.  Will we help those in need?

For opportunities for confidential care and healing, please go to http://www.newwine.ca/post-abortion-healing-recovery.htm or PROJECT RACHEL: Post-abortion healing and reconciliation. Project Rachel is a sensitive, private and confidential experience; it is for women or men who have been hurt by an abortion. Info: 416-629-8264; info@stmarysrefuge.org. All calls/emails are private and confidential.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: The Pain of Abortion

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

by Kate Larson

If, like me, you were unable to attend the Silent No More event on Feb. 2, I direct you to their website where you can listen to or read stories from women who have regretted their abortions and found healing. The stories are short, but there is a lot of pain in them, pain in the circumstances leading up to the abortions, pain in the procedures themselves, pain in the fear, self-loathing, depression and other negative emotions many women experienced before, during and after the abortions, pain in their regret at the decision, and pain in the healing process. The stories, however, end hopefully. While the regret at choosing abortion does not go away and has led these women to speak out, the stories describe finding forgiveness both from others and from themselves, and experiencing a sense of being set free from the past.

The latter cannot be said of the comparatively few testimonies I have come across from women who apparently do not regret their abortions. They may genuinely feel this way, or genuinely believe they feel this way. They are entitled to their opinion. What strikes me about these stories, however, is how much more negative they are than the stories of regret, despite being considered “positive” experiences of abortion. I don’t just mean negative in the obvious sense of considering that there is nothing regrettable in ending a human life. I mean negative in the sense that they detail all the pain of the stories of regret without the redemption.

Many of the “no regrets” stories describe women being in the same situations and experiencing the same fear, anger, shame, and pressure upon discovering they were pregnant as they do in the stories of regret. Both types of stories describe women having similar reactions during and after their abortions, such as crying, hatred of themselves and those around them, initial relief, and emptiness. The main difference is in how most of the stories conclude. The stories on the Silent No More website end with the admission that, though the hurt caused by abortion never goes away, healing is possible. Many of the so-called “positive” stories of abortion conclude that the author has no regrets because she considers herself undeserving or unfit to be a parent, because she has made and sees herself continuing to make bad decisions, or simply because she did not know of, or wish to know of, any other option at the time. Far from proving that the negative consequences of abortion are either non-existent or inconsequential, the “no regrets” stories show women in pain and as in need of healing as the women of Silent No More. The real difference is that the women of Silent No More have found healing and want to help others begin that long process.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Silent No More Coming to the University of Ottawa

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

We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday, February 2, our campus will have the honour of hosting a Silent No More Awareness Gathering. Representatives of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will be gathering in the University Centre Agora from 10-11 a.m. and again from 3-4 p.m.

Silent No More Awareness seeks to make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion.

We strongly encourage you to come out and listen to the speakers. The voices of those who regret their abortions need to be heard.

 


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.