This alumni interview is Part 1 of a series of interviews of pro-life club alumni who have graduated from the university scene, yet remain dedicated pro-life activists in their various careers. We are so thankful for their efforts on campus and are inspired by their testimony of how campus activism continues to influence their lives today.
Alana Beddoe is one of uOttawa Students for Life‘s original members. Graduating with a Bachelors of Nursing Science in 2009, she has since worked as a nurse in Ottawa as well as volunteering in various capacities in the community.
As well as serving as the Pro-Life Parish Rep for her church, you’ll also find Alana volunteering for NCLN’s Student Pro-Life Dinner following the March for Life, supporting various pro-life organizations (like NCLN!), and regularly hosting NCLN staff members in her home when they’re in Ottawa.
How did you get involved in the pro-life club?
Two students had shown up at another event needing signatures to start a pro-life club. I signed up because I supported pro-life issues and thought it was important. I was raised with a mentality that life was important and had been to a couple of March for Lifes, although I wouldn’t necessarily say that I had a passion for it when I signed up.
What did your involvement look like?
I became involved in my 3rd year at the University of Ottawa as the club was just starting. In my final year of university, I was the Formation Coordinator with a particular interest in trying to make the club more encompassing of other religious and backgrounds, with some success.
I felt the club was a really good opportunity to continue to learn what it means to be pro-life and the stance that we have, and because I was in a leadership opportunity, I needed to ensure that I was formed myself. So I was able to attend formation sessions by NCLN’s former Executive Director Theresa Gilbert.
As a nursing student, I took a particular interest in fetal development and presented about development so that current members understood the issues. I also postered the nursing buildings at the medical campus.
Following university, I became the Pro-Life Parish Rep at my church in Ottawa. My goal there is to promote pro-life events within the Ottawa area like the March for Life and 40 Days for Life, as well as fundraising events for various organizations. I also help provide education to the parish on the issues as well as on specific campaigns like DefendGirls, which NCLN had put together. I’ll also collect signatures from parishioners for various petitions, like the petition to support Motion 408 last year.
Was your involvement in the club formative for your activities now? If so, how?
Being involved as a student helped to form me to think critically about the issues surrounding life and to be able to respond to people’s arguments. I was also formed as a leader, in a general sense and on pro-life issues.
In my current job as a nurse, I find life issues come up quite often in the lunchroom, in particular about euthanasia. Having conversations with co-workers is sometimes very challenging but also important so that people understand what the issue really is. There are real options to help people that are suffering, like effective pain management, but that is not the same as euthanasia!
What would you say to other university students considering getting involved in pro-life activities? Particularly those who are pursuing medical careers?
I would encourage them to get involved because it helps you be formed and understand the issues that are coming forward. The education you’re receiving as a student in your courses is based on current societal expectations, and so if you’re not being formed yourself on these issues like abortion or euthanasia, it’s easy to fall into a relativistic perception. Or to feel hopeless.
Being surrounded by people who follow the same values can help you recognize that you’re not alone and stand for those issues.
Thank you, Alana, for your continued efforts to change our culture into a culture of life!
Are you a pro-life campus activist alumni? Share your story with us!