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OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Thousands gather each year to defend life at the National March for Life. Thanks to the dedication of many to the cause, the pro-life movement has flourished in Canada. How can today’s youth contribute? 

These were my thoughts as I attended the Rose Dinner and Youth Summit hosted by Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) following the National March for Life last week.  

During the Rose Dinner on Thursday evening, founders of Canada’s pro-life movement shared their insights. They included CLC President Emeritus Jim Hughes and LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen. 

It was moving to hear about the battles fought to develop the culture of life and the emergence of offshoot pro-life movements inspired by CLC, including LifeSiteNews.

And yet as I listened to the testimonies of those who had spent their lives fighting for and defending life in all stages, I wondered: “How can my generation be the future of the pro-life movement? How can I be like these heroes? How can I make a difference in a country so clearly anti-life?”  

I pondered these questions but could not find an answer. That is, until I attended the Youth Summit the next day and heard the testimony of Autumn Higashi.  

Autumn began by explaining that she was “no one special.” She was not the founder of a pro-life organization, nor had she gone to jail in defence of the unborn. She described herself as an ordinary person who was swept into the limelight after responding in a video to a Teen Vogue article that made light of abortion. That video went viral.  

Autumn grew up like most pro-life youth, attending local pro-life events but not doing anything extraordinary. And yet, because she saw an error and spoke out, she has become the spokeswoman for Students for Life and the host of the Unapologetic podcast.  

I also looked at Josh Alexander, who likewise attended the March for Life. He did not know when he defended truth by condemning transgenderism in his school that it would make a difference. He did not know he would become a spokesman for truth or start a movement to “Save Canada.”  

But he did not need to know that it would make a difference to defend truth in that moment. Instead, he made the difficult decision to stand up when no one else would.   

Autumn and Josh did not try to become famous; they responded to the current agenda because they felt they needed to be voices for truth. Their testimonies helped me realize that being the future of the pro-life generation does not mean that I must be the one who causes the laws to be changed or abortion to be outlawed. It does not mean I will be the one to change the hearts of Canadians to respect all life.  

It does mean that I must be open every day to take the opportunities that God places before me to defend pro-life values and to stand up for life in all its stages. It means God has given me the abilities and skills that I need to fight for life.

The testimonies of Autumn Higashi and Josh Alexander caused me to wonder how many other young people are also fighting for the truth without being seen or recognized. Their work is as valuable as that of those in the limelight.  

Not all youth are called to be public voices of the pro-life movement, but we must open our hearts and our minds to stand up for life when God calls us. As Jim Hughes says, “Youth are not the future of the pro-life movement. They are the present.”