Pro-life advocates are seen near the U.S. Supreme Court Dec. 1, 2021. CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

Speaking Out: Youth must drive pro-life activism

By  PETER SHAW, Youth Speak News
  • December 8, 2021

Despite the federal Liberals trying to legislate an end to crisis pregnancy centres, I stood in a crowd of 100 people outside Parliament on Nov. 24 to defend them.

The organizations provide support and help to pregnant women in need. They provide materials, advice for future parents and care for women who underwent an abortion. They help women make decisions that are both good for them and their child.

However, the self-proclaimed “pro-choice” Liberal Party does not want women to make a choice between life and death for their child. They are determined to no longer provide charitable status to crisis pregnancy centres and similar organizations. This would mean that these centres would have to pay taxes. Moreover, donations would no longer be tax-deductible. Hardly trivial. It is likely that such legislation will essentially bankrupt many of these entities.

Meanwhile, organizations that are blatantly pro-abortion, such as abortion clinics, will retain their charitable status and continue to receive government funding. One would think that a government that proclaims itself to be “pro-choice” would protect both options, or at least protect organizations that do.

Conservative MPs Leslyn Lewis, Arnold Viersen and Cathay Wagantall stood with us at the rally and delivered short speeches. Viersen promised to fight “tooth and nail in the House of Commons,” and Lewis was determined to “oppose the proposed illiberal, anti-women policy that would seek to strip charitable status from organizations that don’t pass Justin Trudeau’s values test.”

An elected government should aim to represent the people. Nearly 15,000 people have signed a petition to oppose legislation that would take away the charitable tax status of the crisis pregnancy centres. Three entire boxes of these petitions were at the rally. The three MPs promised to get this petition presented in the House of Commons. Time will tell if these efforts will deter the Liberal Party from its current agenda. 

Many of those who were present at the rally were younger than 17 years old, including me. At 15 years old, I have already been involved in the pro-life cause ever since I attended my first March for Life when I was seven years old. Last year I joined the Campaign Life Coalition youth division, CLC Youth. Along with other kids around my age, I have learned pro-life apologetics, which is the discipline of defending the unborn with sound rational, intellectual arguments. 

Youth are definitely pivotal players in the pro-life movement. However, we are  facing increasing challenges.

Schools encourage so-called “pro-choice” beliefs while forbidding pro-life truths when youth are at their most impressionable.

Pro-life children often feel alone. It is important to let them know that they are not. Isolation makes people scared to voice their beliefs. But youth are not the only ones who are afraid. Most of us are afraid to rally for what is right, for fear of unpopularity.

In the words of Pope John Paul II, “Do not be afraid. And more importantly, do not be afraid to be saints.”

All of us need to stand up for the rights of the preborn, no matter how unpopular it makes us.

(Shaw, 15, a home-schooled student in Barry’s Bay, Ont.)

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