"These freaks. These pro-life freaks!" I heard a Seattle passerby lisp emphatically into his phone as I got out of the van in front of an abortion mill to pick up Lauren and Josh, who had set up at a busy intersection to sidewalk counsel and show our signs to passing drivers. We’ve been called almost every name in the book so far, but I was caught off-guard by the passerby’s sincerity.
Apparently, many citizens of Seattle are not used to the conflict between good and evil. Evil is given a free pass. Some citizens of Seattle are so unaccustomed to seeing or hearing the pro-life message that they did not know what to make of us. One student at the University of Washington told me that he had never stopped to talk to a pro-life activist before, or realized that we actually wanted to help people. Driving away from the Space Needle, the team and I saw a bumper sticker that read, "Condoms are easier to change than diapers." The disdain for life is so extreme that people joke about it.
Thankfully, this was not the only attitude we saw this week. For every day that we saw opposition to our outreaches, we also saw students' minds and hearts opened to the truth about abortion. During our outreach at Bellevue College, just outside of Seattle, every team member was kept in constant conversation with new students stopping to talk before the first students left. Even the lulls between classes were filled with conversations between team members and students.
Soon after we set up our signs, a student took a picture of one of the images of an abortion victim. Emily approached her, and before Emily had a chance to say anything, the student asked her, “How can I stop this? What can we do to stop this?” Emily told her that she could help stop abortion by signing up to lead the pro-life club on her campus. Two other students approached Emily that day to say that they wanted to stop abortion. I hope they start the club at Bellevue College. The student body could use one!
That same day, the director of student programs and campus security were working to kick us off campus. They told us that the campus only allowed one group to exercise free speech at a time, and a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses had already set up, so we were automatically excluded. The college only wanted one group to express themselves at a time, so as not to have opposing viewpoints. They told us they didn’t want any conflict.
The irony of their policy was almost comical. The ability to express conflicting viewpoints is one of the blessings of the 1st Amendment! When we are exposing injustice, it is impossible to avoid conflict! In fact, we WANT students to be in conflict with each other, when it comes to abortion. We need to push our generation out of the mushy middle to pick a side -- students need to be either for abortion or against it. Once exposed to what abortion is - how the procedures are performed and what the victims look like - students see the conflict between our culture and the truth, and usually decide that abortion is wrong.
If you would like the Campus Outreach Team to educate students to realize that abortion is wrong, please help us get to our next campuses. We promise we won’t back down when we’re told not to create conflict!
Director of Campus Outreach