Being pro-life at University is tough. The abortion debate seems to crop up everywhere and in the most unlikely of places. From tutorials, to dinner parties, to nights out in the pub…as soon as anyone realises you’re Catholic and/or pro-life the questions begin, and they’re rarely easy to answer!
When faced with such emotional and contentious issues, it can be easy for any pro-lifer to feel like they are alone and that their opinions are irrelevant, out-dated and even uncaring. Being pro-life is none of these things, and it is so important to break down these stereotypes.
As young people, it is for us to stand up and speak out for the rights of the most vulnerable in society, it is for us to campaign for better support for women experiencing crisis pregnancies, and it for us to promote and build a culture of life.
If we stay silent, how is this going to be possible?
Over my time at University, I have been blessed with a close group of faith-loving friends. A couple of years ago, we decided to found a Pro-Life Society aimed at widening debate and discussion and spreading a positive pro-life message on campus. Every fortnight or so we hold events such as talks, socials and movie nights all with the aim of changing hearts and minds and helping people to say ‘yes’ to life. Of course it has been difficult, and we have faced some heavy opposition, but with the help of organisations like the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS), we have been able to get off the ground and begin some truly constructive dialogue with other university groups.
The years spent at University are an incredible opportunity to learn about the world, to hear new opinions and to form your own. University is also a time to put the desire for change into concrete action. It is a sad truth that thousands of unborn lives are lost and thousands of parents’ lives are torn apart by abortion each day. It is also a sad truth that many pro-lifers have become disheartened, believing that nothing will change. Yet, as Saint Theresa of Avila said “Christ has no hands on earth but yours”. If any change is going to happen, there need to be people ready to take the lead.
Being part of Students for Life – St Andrews has given me the chance to make small changes in my University community, and nationwide the pro-life movement is regaining momentum. Organisations like APS exist to equip young people with everything they need to make positive change on their campuses. In St Andrews, their support has been invaluable, and the work they do to help students across the country is inspirational.
It just goes to show that with a bit of courage, a bit of patience and lots of joy, the message of life will be spread, and hearts and minds will be opened to welcoming and celebrating every person’s life from conception until natural end.
Want to find out more? Get in touch with the Alliance of Pro-Life Students.
Becky Short, Bispham, 23