College is a time of discovery, the search for truth, and the pursuit of happiness. It is this constant search that leads many individuals to parties, to different spiritualities, and, for many, to a deeper relationship with Christ.
A Pro-Life Week
The week of March 26, 2017, marked the beginning of an eventful week on my campus. As the Political Chair for Mustangs for Life, our pro-life group on campus, I was very involved in an event that we have held for the past three years called The Memorial of Innocence. This event consists of roughly thirty of us putting up 2,500 crosses on the main lawn of SMU’s campus. The crosses are put up on Sunday evening and taken down Wednesday. Each of the 2,500 crosses stands for the number of children lost to abortion each day in the United States, as well as the women who have made that difficult decision. The display is not meant to shame anyone who has had an abortion or who has been affected by abortion; it is meant to show the number of lives lost to this tragic act.
We Broke Through the Apathy
Despite putting up the crosses for the past three years, last year, something was different. We broke through the apathy with our display and people all over campus were talking about the crosses. We received both encouragement and hate for our display. There were some who decided to vandalize the display, leading to late night patrols to prevent further vandalism.
This year, we were more prepared. We did experience some minor vandalism, but we met it with love and compassion, understanding that many were coming from a place of great hurt. Our Memorial of Innocence wrapped up with a large event where we hosted Carly Fiorina, an event co-sponsored by College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom. She delivered a powerful message of what it truly means to be a leader and to encourage the potential in each of us to be who we are called to be.
What It Means To Be Pro-Life
All my life, I have been Pro-Life. I have believed and understood the truth: that each of us, conceived in our mother’s womb, is a unique individual from the moment of conception, and that each of us has the same right to life in the womb as we do outside of it. This week, however, had a tremendous impact on my life personally and what it meant to me to truly be pro-life. That Sunday night, after putting up the crosses, a group of five of us prayed a rosary for the memorial and for all of those that would be impacted in one way or another by the display.
We prayed for healing and understanding, that we would touch and change hearts for the pro-life cause. At the end of the rosary, my friend lifted up a prayer intention and reminded us of something she had heard from a priest once. She recounted that when each of us who have stood up for an innocent life dies and is facing our judgment day, those babies would be there, on our behalf saying, “she defended me.” Until that moment, I had never thought about that. Throughout the following week, that idea consistently raced through my mind.
I Listened to Those Who Defended Abortion
As the week went on, I had a lot of interesting conversations with people on both sides of the issue. My friend and I even sat in on a Pro-Choice meeting, listening to what they had to say about the display and the issue of abortion altogether.
My heart was overcome with such sadness as I listened to them speak, and as I listened to so many defend the right to have an abortion. All I could think throughout the entire week was how beautiful the gift of life is, and how blessed we are to have a God that loves each and every one of us so uniquely, no matter what sins we commit. I thought about multiple friends who are currently pregnant or had just had a child. Each of these children was brought into existence by a God that loves them before their parents even knew of them, or had them in their minds. As I sat listening to the pro-choice arguments, I was filled with so much sadness because of the selfishness that was radiating from these conversations.
But A Fetus Is A Child
I recognize that each woman is in a different place, that there are different circumstances, and that the decision to have an abortion is not easy, no matter what those circumstances may be. However, no one can deny that the fetus is a child. Within a woman’s womb is a child. It has its own unique DNA, its own fingerprints, totally separate from the mother’s and father’s. All I could think the entire week as I spoke to each person was, “what about the child? What about the rights of the child?” I personally struggled with how no one considered them.
My very Pro-Life week concluded with the 24th Annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner in Dallas, where I had the wonderful pleasure of hearing Eric Metaxes speak. His message was one of hope, one of speaking up with the boldness of the truth. Since Roe v. Wade, the Pro-Life movement has not been silent, and most cannot deny that at the very least, Roe v. Wade was not good law. The Pro-Life movement has the truth; it has the truth of Jesus Christ that a child is a child, and has the rights of a human being from the moment of conception until natural death. Our culture today sees pregnancy as a consequence, as an inconvenience rather than the gift of life from God.
Speak the Truth Boldly
If we have the truth, we must speak with the boldness of that truth. The Pro-Life movement does not fight because we want women to have unsafe abortions. The Pro-Life movement fights because we believe that every single child, whether conceived between a husband and wife, a boyfriend and girlfriend, rape, incest, or any other manner, is a child with the right to life. That child is more than a clump of cells, and God gave it life because He has a plan for that child.
So many today ask, “why is there no cure for cancer? If there is a God why hasn’t he sent us someone that can cure cancer or end world hunger?” What if He did? God creates all things for a purpose; He created each of us with a purpose, a mission in life. What if we have aborted the one who was supposed to bring us a cure to cancer? One-third of my classmates are not here because of abortion. One-third of the friends each of us could have had are not here.
Create a Pro-Life Society
We need to create a society where abortion is unthinkable. So many women have abortions because they are not financially stable, or because they are too young to be a mother, but there are other options. As a culture, we need to work to fix our broken systems. We need to fix all the problems with our adoption systems, our foster care system, and with a number of other programs. The woman going through an unplanned pregnancy should not have to decide between her life and the life of her baby. If we can work to fix these programs, then those children can live, and they can be placed with a family who may not be able to have kids of their own. We need to bring an end to abortion so that we can foster a culture of life, that shows the true dignity of every human being, no matter how small.