Saturday, July 16, 2011

my journey into the pro-life movement

I know I've talked about this with people but I'm not sure if I've ever put it in writing, so now seems like a good time.

Confirmation of my Catholic faith!
my sweet sponsor, Esther.
After voluntarily getting into my faith (wassup, Catholicism?!) in 2006, I hadn't really given abortion any thought. If someone had asked me about my stance on the issue I probably would've told them that I only found abortion acceptable if the mother was raped or if she was going to die. 

In 2008 at a youth group event, we were shown a video about how precious life is. It was a cutesy video with pictures of giggling babies and cute families and toddlers at the park. However, in the "related videos" section on the website I saw a video titled something to the effect of "WARNING!!! DO NOT WATCH! HIGHLY GRAPHIC CONTENT!" so naturally, I went home that night and watched it. That's when I realized that I am Pro-Life and that abortion is wrong.
*I cannot personally vouch for the video's authenticity. I haven't done any searching regarding who filmed it but I consider the website to be credible and, EVEN IF it weren't actual footage, from the research I've done since I can say that the video depicts the procedure I have read about and know to be in existence. This is the video if you are interested. Warning though, seriously, it is disturbing. Click at your own risk, but I really recommend against it unless you really want to see.

I'm not sure what I was expecting to see in the video and I'm not sure what exactly I thought abortion was before that night, but what I saw in the video scared the crap out of me, broke my heart, and left me speechless. I remember crying in my room for hours that night just feeling sick about it, about what happened to the baby in the video. The next day at school I asked people in my class if they knew about this procedure, about what abortion really was, and about partial birth abortion. No one seemed to know. That freaked me out.

At the time, I wasn't necessarily passionate about respecting life. I knew abortion was wrong but I didn't feel any urge to get involved, or maybe I just didn't feel like I had the time (what a lie). Once I got to college in the fall of 2009 I was thrown into the movement and I haven't looked back since.

The day I moved into my dorm I headed to the Catholic Student Center to see how I could get involved with music ministry or a Bible study or the Pro-Life group that had been mentioned on their website. After being informed that there was no longer leadership in the group I volunteered to help out however I could, lucky for me the director took that as meaning I would lead the group, which was one of the best things that has happened to me so far, I think.

Hello, DC! March for Life 2011
So now, I'm President of Bobcats for Life. Only problem is that leading this group required more than just saying "abortion is wrong." That was a huge learning experience for me: not only learning the facts, but relaying what I learned to the (few) people who came to the meetings initially. I didn't feel qualified for the job really, but a few trusty members was all it took to get it off the ground. The rest is history... or at least history in the making.

Fall of 2009 I was clueless and reactivating an old organization, January 2011 I was marching with hundreds of thousands of people in D.C. for protection of all human life. I sometimes laugh when I think about how I end up where I do.

Another sidenote, although I am Catholic I did not become passionate about life issues because I was Catholic, which is unfortunate. Within the Catholic Church there are some who are not Pro-Life, even though the Catholic Church has a very specific (and beautiful) teaching on abortion. I sometimes feel like I lose credibility in the eyes of people who are not Pro-Life because I am Catholic. I feel that they assume I was born and raised going to Church every Sunday and I've blindly accepted anything that has been taught to me, which isn't the case. For the record, I am a practicing Catholic and I am Pro-Life on my own accord. I was told recently regarding a quick speech I had to give that, aside from fidgeting with my hands, I have a "relatable quality" so people hear me and think "oh yeah, she's just like me" which was cool to hear... I think.

I know many beautiful and wonderful and saintly people who have never had a thought contrary to Pro-Life beliefs in their life, and I admire them very much. Likewise I know, and can identify with, people who have been converted on the issue. I am glad that I have become informed and have come to the truth regarding respect for life, but I am also glad that I was raised by parents who encouraged an open mind and tolerance and let me think for myself- which, though it may not have generated Pro-Life thoughts in my mind my entire life- has blessed me with a different perspective and ability to empathize and relate.



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