Pro-Life Heroes and Heroines, No. 10: The Unknown Pro-Lifer
Reading the stories of the other heroes and heroines in this series, one might think that it is all well and good to praise such people but that’s not for everyone: we can’t all be Lila Rose or Mildred Jefferson, and indeed, we don’t all have to be. I agree.
So far, our series has passed over the majority of those who are pro-life heroes and heroines, the bread and butter of the pro-life movement: the unknown pro-lifers. Who are these mystery people? Well, you and me (I hope!). We can each be a pro-life hero or heroine by being pro-life where we are now, whatever that stage of life may be. That may look very different for a gynaecologist or a palliative nurse, for a politician or a teacher, for a student or a parent. But heroes and heroines they can all be. Let me just give you one example of a pro-life heroine that I know. Let’s call her Emma: she’d rather not be named, and that’s typical – she’s someone who, without seeking recognition, quietly reinforces the value of life however she can.
Perhaps the best place to begin with this heroine (to cut to the chase) is the day she took into her family home, without asking for anything, a young international student who had found herself pregnant. Terrified to return to her country where the pressures of family and society would have forced her to have an abortion – something that she decidedly did not want – this young woman found refuge with Emma. Flash forward a year or two and Emma is welcoming another woman into her home: a woman left by her husband just weeks before her due date with no support, her family thousands of miles away. Both women were strangers to her; now friends.
In her professional life as a doctor, Emma works to educate others about life ethics – most recently an evening enlightening other healthcare professionals about the reality of sex-selective abortion and why it must be opposed. In her home life, she has shown the importance of these values to her children so that they know should they, a friend, or anyone they know need support, it can be found at home.
For you, the student reading this, again, you may say ‘I can’t do this: this certainly does not look like it could be something “you and me” could do.’ True. But, without a doubt, there is a way you can help promote a culture that defends and values life. Maybe this will be raising a motion in your JCR or MCR to help student parents. Maybe this will be challenging one of your friends when they claim ‘Euthanasia should just be made legal already’. Maybe it will mean writing your philosophy thesis in defence of life, or perhaps considering joining the OSFL committee next year! Whatever it is, each of us, each unknown pro-lifer, can be a pro-life hero or heroine. We can each make a difference.
(Previously in this series: Alice Paul, Jack Scarisbrick, Gandhi, Hans and Sophie Scholl, Lila Rose, Ovid, Mildred Jefferson, Jerome Lejeune, Concepta Wood and Mary Doogan.)