This post is the work of students at the 2011 Live Action Leadership Summit currently taking place. The students have formed teams for their time at the Summit and each chose heroes as their team name. The teams are competing with one another, and their first assignment was to write about a hero in history who upheld the value of the human person, and discuss how this hero informs and inspires them to be pro-life advocates today. We now encourage you to give your feedback and encouragement to these amazing youth age 14-19 in the feedback section below.
As the pro-life movement grows across the nation, it is hard to pinpoint the source of the inspiration which drives the youth. However, there are two notable historical figures who have provided the pro-life youth with inspiration as advocates for those deemed lesser than human.
As World War II shook the world in the 1940s, one of the greatest massacres mankind has ever witnessed took place. In the midst of Hitler’s genocide, many brave individuals within Germany stepped forward to protect those persecuted by his method of social hygiene. Corrie ten Boom, a young, inspirational woman of Dutch decent hid Jews in a secret room adjacent to her bedroom for years before she and her family were arrested and suffered brutally for their convictions.
Much like this young woman, pro-life youths across the country are also stepping up to protect the unwanted in our nation today. Like the injustice faced by the Jews in Nazi Germany, the unborn in the United States are branded as undesirable, burdensome, and subhuman, and are thus persecuted. The pro-life youth, however, does not shelter the unborn, but exposes them to society as precious gifts, not as parasites that need to be exterminated. Just as Corrie ten Boom bravely stood up to protect the “unwanted” in her day despite the dangers of holding such an upstream view, pro-life youth all across the country are coming to the defense of today’s “unwanted” – the unborn – and will continue to persevere.
The urgent need to bring the unborn “out of hiding” raises the inevitable challenge: How can the pro-life youth prove the legitimacy of prenatal life to a lost generation? William Wilberforce, a young politician in 1800s England, had a similar problem in regards to exposing the horrors of the slave trade. His answer was to reveal the truth by using graphic yet accurate accounts of slavery. He displayed blueprints of slave ships to illustrate their inhumanely crammed living quarters, brought in the very chains used to bound slaves, and used other visual aids.
Moreover, the young Wilberforce stood virtually alone against a mindset that had been entrenched in the minds of the people and politicians of England. He, like the pro-life youth in America today, was not alive when the slave trade began, but rather inherited the corrupt system. The pro-life youth today were not present when the detrimental ruling of Roe v Wade was settled in 1973. Nevertheless, the pro-life youth, akin to Wilberforce, are determined to reverse the actions of the past generation. The pro-life youth must expose the evils of abortion by means of realistic visual aids for society to realize the horrors of abortion.
Both ten Boom and Wilberforce displayed determination and passion that inspire the fight for the unborn’s rights. Despite persecution and resistance, their examples of advocacy demonstrate the effectiveness of patience, truth, and whole-hearted effort for a better world— effectiveness the pro-life youth wishes to emanate.