Earlier this year, Pro-Life students at the University of York in England faced intense discrimination when their campus group, Life Matters, was ratified by the university. Opponents called their viewpoint “disgusting,” accusing the students of organizing to intimidate women. But the group’s statement of purpose is vastly different from the accusations: “We are a group of students who believe that every single person's life matters from conception to natural death. Through our meetings and debates, we aim to engage and promote dialogue about topics like abortion and euthanasia.”
When we told the fellows of the Dr. Joseph Graham Fellowship for College Pro-Life Leaders, Texas Right to Life’s campus Pro-Life program, about the resistance students in the UK are facing, our Fellows were quick to respond with encouraging words. We would like to share some of these with the students of the University of York, and any other students in the UK who are facing discrimination. Elizabeth H. from the University of Dallas wrote:
Dear Life Matters,
Thank you for fearlessly defending Life and promoting awareness of Pro-Life issues on your college campus despite hostile opposition from members of the student body. As a fellow Pro-Life college student, I find your witness to the Pro-Life cause encouraging and hopeful! Thank you for being part of the effort to build a Culture of Life. Your work is so important, especially when you face opposition, and I commend your efforts to peacefully engage others in rational discussions.
Keep up the great work!
Lauren B., a junior also from the University of Dallas, wants Pro-Life students at York to know they are not alone in the difficulties they face:
Trust me, I know you’re facing hardship, but think about how much good you are doing. Only if you persevere will you be able to see the fruit of your hard work. This fight is a matter of Life and death, and we all know which side is the winning one: LIFE! One day everyone's eyes will be opened, and they will see which side is the winning side. Pray often because that is the only thing that will keep you from getting discouraged. Please don't ever give up, and know that there are people all over the world rooting for you. I will keep you in my prayers!
Anthony D. of Texas A&M University praised the Life Matters group for pushing forward despite setbacks:
Let me start by saying that y’all (yes, people from Texas really do say y’all) are really really, really awesome. Even in the face of some very hostile responses from people who claim to be all about tolerance and choice, you are taking a stand for the most precious of rights. Something abortion advocates never seem to comprehend is that for us, one Life saved is an indescribable victory. I sincerely believe that while you might not be able to see the immediate fruits of your work, your efforts will directly contribute to the saving of many lives. Thanks to people like you, we will stare down the culture of death and bring an end to the abortion movement by saving one Life at a time. When they scream and curse at you, love them and show them you care about them, too (this really messes with their heads). Keep showing them that a true Culture of Life is built on love and the idea that everyone deserves to be treated as though they have dignity. Y’all are real heroes. You are defending the weak and speaking up for the voiceless. I will keep y’all in my prayers. Keep being awesome!
Marisa Rosa of Southern Methodist University has faced hurdles in her own Pro-Life journey, but a moving image inspires her:
I heard about your group from a Fellowship to which I belong and read the article in the York Vision. I understand that you have run up against some opposition, and I am here to tell you not to lose hope.
Our fight for the Pro-Life movement can seem like a lost cause when all you see and hear are people telling you that you are crazy and that this issue is not up to you. I have felt that way several times during my own fight for the Pro-Life cause. One of the things that has gotten me through the toughest times is this image that was told to me by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life: When you stand judgment at the end of your Life, all the babies you fought to save will be there saying, “That one tried to save us.” Even if you aren't religious, I still believe this image to be powerful. Those babies are the reason we do not falter when people say they are offended by our images and signs. Those babies deserve every Right to Life that we ourselves have, and we will not stop fighting until every Life is valued and protected. We will not stop fighting the good fight here in Texas, and I hope you all will do the same.
Being a Pro-Life student is not always easy, but our student fellows show us time and again that the fight for Life on campus is worth every obstacle and insult they face. Keep up the good work, Life Matters!