They said “yes” to use the call to spend their summer training as a pro-life activist. They said “yes” to focusing on saving lives in both sunshine and rain. They said “yes” to the two-and-a-half month internship with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. They are the seven young pro-lifers from across Canada, plus one from the United States, who are discerning full-time work in the pro-life movement. The interns include: Peter Csillag (Calgary), Jessica Tennant (Chilliwack, B.C.), Cameron Wilson (Calgary), Ruth Lobo (Ottawa), Jeremiah Blossom (Arkansas), Ania Kasprzak (Chilliwack, B.C.), Francisco Gomez (Thunder Bay, Ont.).
CCBR’s internship program runs May 10 to Aug. 20 and involves both training in theory and activism. The young adults participated in lessons on “Personal Finances,” “History of Social Reform,” “Interior Life, Virtue, & Leadership,” “Pro-Life 101 & 201,” and “What to Do When You Encounter a Person Who’s Faced Trauma,” among others. These topics are tackled through lectures, movies and books that correspond to an assignment or tests.
For the activism part of the internship, they are involved with CCBR’s Reproductive “Choice” Campaign and “Choice” Chain. The RCC is a box-bodied truck with billboards showing aborted human beings that are driven throughout various cities. The “Choice” Chain is done with large signs also depicting aborted human beings that are held by the young activists as they engage in dialogue with passersby. Among other places, the interns took their signs to the Calgary Stampede. Stephanie Gray, CCBR’s executive director, and Jose Ruba, a full-time activist, have brought the interns with them for talks and media appearances, as well.
Ruth Lobo, a 22-year-old student at Carleton University, is one of the summer interns. She says that through “Choice” Chain, “The most impactful thing for me thus far has been sharing my adoption story with strangers and showing them through it that I could have been aborted so easily. I also have learned how to better handle rejection, exhaustion and how to really love from the heart in a tireless way.”
Lobo has faced many sacrifices this summer including giving up free time and the desire to be in control. “I have taken on the responsibility of striving to make abortion unthinkable which means that I can no longer ignore the fact that abortion exists.” She continues, “so, this means that if I believe abortion is bad enough, I will do whatever it takes to end it and this means giving up a lot of my dreams to be very financially secure, prestigious and popular … wherever I am.”
With the amount of activity coming out of the CCBR office it is no wonder that the media has been interested in the activities of the interns. CTV Lethbridge reported on the “Choice” Chain and RCC, consistently referring to the activists as pro-life, as opposed to “anti-choice.” McKenzie Hahn was able to share her reason for being a pro-life activist: she has had an abortion and regrets it. Her hope is to help others choose life. The local television station in Medicine Hat, Alberta, CHAT TV, also did fair reporting when they visited their city. Gray along with Peter Csillag and Hahn were invited to the show In Sight with Paul Arthur on the Miracle Channel in Alberta following some “Choice” Chain activity.
Lobo, along with the other interns, faced immense hostility while on the street as people yelled, grabbed their signs and attempted to bully them into submission. None of these things have or will stop them. Lobo says she is motivated by the fact that, “nothing is as bad as taking away someone’s right to life and we will endure whatever we have to if it brings healing to a broken world.”