My interest in the pro-life movement started at a young age. Throughout elementary school, I would participate in our parish’s annual Life Chain with my parents and five siblings. I remember feeling, even from a young age, that it was important, and necessary, to stand up for what one believes is right. It was scary having adults swearing and cars honking at me and my fellow parishioners, and I did not have much of an understanding of the gravity of the issue of abortion. I remember being fascinated though, at why the topic of abortion made so many so terribly upset and sad.
Later, in elementary and high school, I attended the March for Life in Ottawa several times. I always loved the inspiring enthusiasm of the crowds of pro-lifers and looked forward to the testimonies from post-abortive women and men. The March was also my first introduction to photographs of abortion victims. My reaction to these initially was anger because I felt it was unnecessary to show something so horrible. But as I kept coming back to the March year after year, I started to realize showing the reality of abortion was a good “reality check” even for pro-lifers. With each passing year I attended, I felt the growing urge that more needed to be done – that I personally needed to do more to spare babies the horrendous fate of being torn apart in their mother’s womb. I had no idea what I could do though.
When I was in 11th grade, a pro-life group came to my high school and gave a presentation on the case against abortion. After the presentation, when our teachers tried engaging students on the subject, I was very disturbed by how outspoken and aggressive a minority of my pro-choice peers were. This experience really got me thinking more seriously about where I stood on abortion. Was I fully pro-life? Upon more serious thought, I finally concluded that all abortions were wrong, except, perhaps, in the case of rape. This ‘conclusion’ sat very uneasily with me, and very soon I realized that killing an innocent human being could never be the answer. I had to trust I would find more answers to the tough questions.
I had not initially planned to get involved in the pro-life movement. In college, I had studied Baking Arts Management and worked a few years in that field. There was a lot about the hospitality industry that I enjoyed, but I could not comprehend, and even tried hard to ignore, the growing ache in my heart to help those in crisis circumstances. Last spring, as my job at a bakery was coming to an end, I considered seriously about applying to Campaign Life Coalition’s 2019 summer internship. I was not however, ready to make that step. I ended up instead taking a summer job as an assistant at a law firm, hoping to test the waters of office life. Upon its conclusion, I was still unsure where I wanted to work, and felt very lost, to be quite honest.
It was at this time a friend informed me that Toronto Right to Life was looking for an office manager. I had management, and office experience now, and knew I was passionate about the pro-life cause. I applied and waited to see what happened. At this time, I was looking also for a job at a bakery, but to my surprise, I felt that a change needed to be made, and I was more interested in the pro-life job. To my delight, I was offered the job and started at Toronto Right to Life last September. It has been a very big learning curve for me, having less experience in the movement than my team; but I enjoy the challenge, seeing myself grow, and I feel very blessed working with such amazing and inspiring people.
There are a few main reasons that keep me motivated in the pro-life movement. Firstly, is the opportunity to learn more intentionally about pro-life issues and apologetics, to better know the ‘why’ of what I believe and about ethical solutions to difficult situations. Secondly, I want to tell people the truth. I have seen the importance of the educational arm of the movement in my own life because I am no longer only partially against abortion. I feel the educational arm of the movement is a vital part in making abortion unthinkable. Thirdly, doing what I can to help save lives helps to satisfy that ache in my own heart for helping people in hard circumstances. I want to be part of the answer for those who hurt from abortion, and more and more so, from assisted suicide. But the greatest motivation for me is knowing that over 100,000 babies die a year in Canada, and I want this injustice to end.