Gaining the Courage of my Convictions: Why I am Pro-life in a Pro-choice Culture

When I was about ten years old, I asked my mum what “abortion” meant, and she told me it was the legalized killing of a human baby. My reaction was to hug her and cry. Since then, my view on abortion has remained the same: I have never wavered in my belief that a fetus is the same as a baby, and the deaths of babies deserve our tears. However, it has only been in the past few months that I realized I should to go beyond a raw emotional reaction to the abortion issue. Toronto Right to Life’s apologetics training brought home to me that being pro-life necessitates an actively thought out, logical argument against abortion. Now I know that when I identify as pro-life, I need to be able to demonstrate how scientifically an unborn child is as human as a toddler, showing that from a human rights perspective unborn humans deserve our protection, regardless of extenuating circumstances.

However, I believe that for me to be personally pro-life, I must bring to the general pro-life argument my own angle, which though perhaps unoriginal, allows me to combine my emotional response with an intellectual argument against abortion. I feel that no one will come to be pro-life unless they feel compassion for the little human life that will be cut short by abortion. The unborn have no way to tell their own story, and so we might find it far easier to sympathize with the mothers involved, who often are surrounded by incredibly difficult circumstances. We ourselves have no memory from before our birth, so we cannot identify with the unborn. Yet each of us once was one of the unborn, making the pro-life movement almost a retroactive fight in our own self-defense. In our fight for the aborted, we give our voice to them, and bring to light silent suffering that could otherwise easily be ignored. Sadly, the victims of abortion lack a face as well as a voice, as by its nature abortion prevents the individuality of many from ever developing and condemns every aborted person to be a human embryo with little to distinguish one from any other. I am pro-life because I wish I could somehow compensate for the vast number of people who will forever be voiceless and faceless because of abortion.

Unfortunately, while sentiments like these are easy to express internally or in a safe pro-life space, the vitriolic reaction of our culture to pro-life belief often intimidates many, including me, into silence on the issue. While my spirit is willing to fight for the rights of the unborn, the response I know I would get scares me from real action. My hope in interning at Toronto Right to Life is that I will gain the courage of my convictions and no longer be passively pro-life. If you are reading this, and like me you have been convinced of the pro-life cause, but also like me you often lack the bravery to stand up for what you believe in, I would encourage you to become active in a small role in the pro-life movement. I have learned that it does not require immediate, extreme street activism to be part of social reform. However, I do think a small role can easily become a more significant one as one small step creates the confidence to take large strides. My hope is that we in the pro-life movement can be brave now, so that the cultural change we create will mean that it will no longer require bravery to express a belief in the rights of the unborn.

– Anna, Toronto Right to Life Intern