By Alex Seghers, Youth Programs Co-Director
Are you heading off to college and not sure what you’re going to encounter? Do you believe the values and beliefs you leave home with won’t be challenged or even changed during the next four years?
If you’re not sure, you are definitely not alone. In fact, according to Students for Life of America, 46 percent of women enter college pro-life, but only about 27 percent of these women are pro-life when they graduate. And men, this happens to you, too!
But WHY does it happen?
Maybe you’ll be challenged about your pro-life views during a discussion with your new college friends. Maybe you’ll hear something like: “How can you be pro-life?
What about my friend who was raped? Would you have forced motherhood on her, especially with her rapist’s child? Why would you wish that trauma on her? And don’t you know adoption causes trauma, too?” Maybe you grew up in a pro-life environment but never considered these questions before. Maybe having compassion for this person’s experience causes you to reconsider your beliefs.
Or maybe you will make a mistake and, while you consider yourself pro-life, you aren’t really familiar with the compassionate and forgiving pro-life resources available. If you feel ashamed, alone and unsupported, it is possible you could choose abortion in an unplanned pregnancy, thus reconsidering everything you believed in prior to this experience.
Fortunately, I was not one of those students who entered college pro-life and left pro-abortion. My household encouraged pro-life views when I was growing up, but my pro-life formation did not stop with our faith. As a sophomore in high school I attended a PULSE Immersion Weekend, a program of Louisiana Right to Life. Throughout the weekend I was shocked by reality, informed about resources, and trained in the science and philosophy of pro-life persuasion. My high school youth group had encouraged this attendance and continued pro-life formation consistently with activism and education until I graduated.
I became so solidly pro-life that when I attended college I held different officer positions within my college pro-life club until graduation, and with the group I organized events, prayed at the local abortion clinic weekly, and arranged for speakers at my university. I even took the pro-life vocation route, interning with Louisiana Right to Life in the summer and now running the youth programs I once attended. And I am so happy to provide the same pro-life formation I had to the high school and college students of today!
For the past three years I have traveled, spoken, and participated in activism at universities across Louisiana. I have seen activism methods that have and haven’t worked, students who felt burned out, and students who experienced tremendous growth in leadership and effectiveness.
And now it’s your turn. Will you be like me and grow even stronger in your pro-life convictions, or will you let others make you doubt your beliefs or let mistakes overrule what you know to be right?
Here are some tips to help you remain pro-life in college: