John-Henry Westen

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Rising young pro-life star debates graphic images on Canadian national television

Wed Jul 20, 2011 - 5:21 pm EST

Young, bright, good-looking, faithful and solid. That’s how you might describe one of the fast-rising stars in the pro-life movement in Canada.  Alissa Golob, 24, the director of Campaign Life Coalition Youth, was featured last month on the new Sun News TV network defending the use of graphic abortion images. 

Byline host Brian Lilley, himself pro-life, played devil’s advocate on the issue, throwing out difficult questions, which were ably answered by Golob. Sun News TV also had the guts to show the images in television – a rarity in Canada.

Alissa’s passion about the use of graphic images comes from personal experience. They are in fact what drove her to devote her life to the pro-life movement.  Here’s her story as she related it at the Toronto Pro-Life Forum last month:

I grew up in a Catholic family of nine children. My dad is a business owner, my mother a stay-at-home mom. I always knew abortion was wrong, we would pray for an end to it every night, but I never really had much exposure to it. That is, until I was 13.

I had a pen-pal- which was like the snail mail version on Facebook. Anyway, one day, one of my closer pen-pals asked me to go on a pro-life “tour” with her. I didn’t really know what that was, but it sounded fun to me. I mean, the Backstreet Boys were my favourite band and they went on tour all the time, so it couldn’t be that bad, right?

Anyway, I packed some stuff that I needed for a week away from home and my mom dropped me off at the group meeting place. My friend hadn’t arrived yet but there was a huge bus there and I watched as people filed off to pass the time. One man went around to the back of the bus and started to unload these signs that were bigger than he was. As I continued to watch he slowly turned the sign around to get a better grip and I sat there stunned when I saw what was on them. They were huge graphic pictures of aborted babies- of all different stages. Then it hit me. This was the pro-life tour I was going on.

Little did I know that I was going to spend the entirety of the week to standing on the sidewalk in the middle of summer for 6 hours a day holding up these hideous signs to the public. I held those signs through blistering heat, torrential rain, smog and traffic congestion, even battling people with bigger attitudes than I!

And it was the best week of my life! Not only did I learn about abortion and its detrimental effects, it was trial by fire with pro-life apologetics. What about rape? What about back-alley abortions?…

I heard it all, and had to learn how to come up with fast responses before the light turned green and interrogators were forced to drive away. Sometimes however, I would sneak in some comebacks that weren’t always, how would I put it, the most politically correct. For example, I remember I approached one lady and asked her if she would like a pro-life pamphlet, and she said, “No thanks, I’m pro-choice”, to which I responded “well you’ll need it all the more then!” (I actually think she took the pamphlet.)

Since then I have been convicted to fight for the pro-life cause. That picture spoke a thousand words to me and always will. I realized that we must fight for abortion- that I must fight.

The late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a priest from the United States once wrote that abortion is the greatest human rights struggle of our time and of all time. When people ask me why I started working for CLC I tell them that I will switch issues if you tell me of a worse genocide somewhere that is killing more human beings and hurting more woemn. I am just a 24 year old recent University graduate, but I have dedicated my life to the bloodiest issue of all, facing it, fighting it and helping create a Canada where every life is protected.

Lila Rose, a 21 year old pro-life advocate from the United States said once that she wishes abortions could be done in the public square so that we would be so disturbed at what we were witnessing day after day, we would do away with the injustice all together. And I agree.

 


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