by Theresa Stephenson
As I turned another page on my calendar this week, I saw how quickly this summer has slipped away and how swiftly autumn is approaching, and with it another school year at ol’ uOttawa. Throughout the summer, the team of uOttawa Students for Life has been in correspondence about plans for the coming year. To be honest, I wish I could say that I only looked at this year with excitement –another year to turn our campus upside down! To spread the wonderful pro-life message to anyone and everyone! To stand up for something and be heard!
But I’m ashamed to admit that that isn’t what I feel. I’m scared. I’m scared of the hostility that we will face. I’m scared of being ostracized. I’m scared of the pain that I’ll see. There are no two ways about it: abortion is uncomfortable. It’s touchy and it’s a sure fire way to get your peers upset.
There are times when I don’t understand why I’m in this group. Sure, I’ve made great friends in this club these past two years that I’ve been at uOttawa. Oftentimes though I wish I could be that stranger who sheepishly scurries past the club’s table and, maybe, timidly gives a thumbs-up and keeps walking. Why didn’t I join water polo?
But the thing is, it isn’t about me. It’s bigger than me and my own comfort zone. I’ll tell you right now, if this was about me I’d stay at home and read a good book.
This summer I was introduced to a new television series called Downtown Abbey based in 1912-1914 in England. A secondary storyline follows the youngest of three daughters who is avidly interested in the political movement of women’s suffrage. Certainly it is a noble cause, but when her father questions why she always finds such gloomy causes, she replies, “Because it’s the gloomy things that need our help. If everything in the garden is sunny – why meddle?”
And that’s why I don’t despair of our “gloomy cause.” It’s precisely what I need to be doing, no matter how uncomfortable I am or how desperately I want to give up because everything is not sunny in the garden. No, 300 babies are killed by abortion daily in Canada. Women are being sold a lie under the pretence of “women’s rights,” but instead of the freedom and liberty that they are promised they find only pain and sorrow.
Because of all this, I might not look to this school year with excitement. Instead, I look forward with trepidation at a long and laborious struggle to the day when abortion will be unthinkable.