Though I have always been pro-life, my passion for defending life in the public arena has grown significantly over the past few years. Like many other pro-lifers, I have prayed outside abortion clinics, attended the March for Life, and participated in Life Chains over the years. But while many young, and sadly, many adult Catholics do not spend much time studying the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life, I was blessed to have formation in these teachings throughout my education. Because of this, my eyes were opened to the multiple threats to life that are present in our society today, and I’ve been made keenly aware of the importance of overcoming the Culture of Death and establishing a Culture of Life.
My Catholic education, being part of a counter-culturally large family and my experience in participating in pro-life outreach activities have all inspired me to seek more ways in which I can make a difference in promoting a Culture of Life. Thanks to Human Life International, this summer, as a communications intern, I have had the opportunity to explore new possibilities within the pro-life movement and engage in the international fight to defend life.
During my internship, one of my responsibilities was to stay up-to-date on news affecting the pro-life movement around the world. I even had the chance to make some news by writing articles for HLI’s blog that were republished on some of the top pro-life news websites. Through my other duties, such as updating websites and preparing HLI’s various newsletters for publication, I got to see the wide range of HLI’s ministry throughout the world. Reading about past projects, current programs and updates from HLI’s international affiliates and pro-life missionaries really blew me away when I stopped to consider the depth and variety of activities that are going on around the world.
I also learned more about the power of social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) in spreading the Gospel of Life. I came to appreciate the fact that these online communities are a vital part of the New Evangelization for spreading the Church’s teachings, and for exposing the lies of the Culture of Death.
One of my favorite experiences from this summer was the week I spent as a pro-life witness in Austin, Texas in support of the pro-life bill (now law) that was debated in a special session of the legislature. HLI sent me on a bus from Washington, D.C., down to Texas with a group from Students for Life of America to show support for the bill and take a stand for life. In Austin, I saw the legislative side of the fight for life as the Texas legislators worked to pass a bill to protect women and children by establishing regulations for abortion clinics and restricting abortions after 20 weeks. I joined hundreds of other pro-lifers in being a peaceful and prayerful presence in the Capitol amid the chaos, anger, and violence of the abortion advocates. I experienced verbal assaults from pro-abortion activists, and was among the students persecuted by the YMCA when we were told we could not use their facilities because of our pro-life beliefs.
It was an intense week; I was in the middle of some of the most powerful spiritual warfare that I have ever experienced, but I was so happy to be there in the midst of all that chaos because I knew I was making a difference standing there with my blue shirt and pro-life signs. I was a witness to the nation that a majority of people, both in Texas and across the U.S., do support abortion restrictions and regulations like the ones passed in Texas. The trip was also a wonderful opportunity for me because I met other pro-life students from around the nation who share my passion for the pro-life cause, and are willing to stand for life and take action to advance the pro-life movement.
All in all, it has been a very fruitful summer. Working in the pro-life movement has given me a renewed desire to stand for life in the midst of the Culture of Death in which we live, as well as ideas and resources to use as I do so. I am so thankful that I was given this opportunity; my summer with HLI was definitely a summer well spent.