Pro-life activism in high schools in Canada is essential. According to Statistics Canada just over 16 per cent of abortions were performed on girls aged 15-19 in 2006. That works out to be 15,217 abortions for girls in their teens. Meanwhile, 15,731 girls in the same age group became pregnant and either had their baby or suffered a miscarriage. Most of these girls are in our high schools and need to know there is support for both them and their child. High school pro-life clubs can save lives with the right tools.
Another important role of the pro-life club is educating their peers before they enter a campus environment, which largely promotes messages contrary to affirming the dignity of all human life. And, finally, the club train and inspire student leaders.
Pro-life teachers and students are working together to do what they can with the resources they have. The Toronto Right to Life Association together with National Campus Life Network saw a need to provide a Club Manual for students and teachers in Canadian high schools. Over the summer they worked on the manual based on interactions and feedback with teachers and students who are living out their passion to promote the pro-life message in their schools.
The manual is similar to the one that NCLN has successfully used with their campus pro-life groups and covers many practical aspects for running a successful pro-life club. Topics include: “How to Start a Club,” “Finding Students,” “How to Run Club Meetings,” “Event Ideas,” “How to Plan a Year,” and “How to Keep Students Involved.”
Paul Klotz, executive director of Toronto Right to Life Association, explained to The Interim, “Having a manual that is based on the collective experience of other pro-life clubs, both on campus and in high schools, can give them a basic template to establish a club with a solid framework which they can fill in with their own creativity and passion for promoting and defending the dignity of all human life.”
A former founder and leader of her high school pro-life club, Kathleen Dunn, was excited to hear about the new resource. She enthused, “It is such a detailed, informative and constructive book that covers all the basic aspects of running a pro-life group with so many helpful tips. I think that’s a main problem with a lot of people looking to start, they don’t have practical steps to direct them. But this book offers just that.”
A club at a high school can promote the pro-life message in a variety of ways including: information tables, poster campaigns, guest speakers, and morning announcements. They can tackle issues such as abortion, stem cell research, adoption, pregnancy resources in the community, and euthanasia and assisted suicide through these activities. Regular meetings can be used to train the club members to be able to speak confidently and intelligently about the life issues.
Timothy Barnett, a senior physics high school teacher at Peoples Christian Academy in Toronto , will be working with students to start up a pro-life club this year. He is excited about the assistance from TRTL, NCLN and the Club Manual. His goals for the club are to, “help instil a lifelong respect for value of human life,” as well as train the students “to think critically about these issues so that they are able to articulate the reasons why they advocate for the pro-life position.”
With the ever-increasing number of high school students attending the National March for Life and regional March for Life events, it’s important to keep the pro-life activism going all year round. If you or someone you know would be interested in copies of the Club Manual contact Toronto Right to Life Association at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-483-7869.