At Illinois Right to Life, education is our mission – and building the next pro-life generation is one of our primary goals. But how, you ask, are we doing this?
By heading straight to the front lines and talking to students in our Illinois schools, face-to-face!
Over the past year, we’ve packed up and ventured out to a number of Illinois high schools, bringing the pro-life message to students across the Chicagoland area. Here’s a few places we’ve been!
St. Ignatius College Prep, on the near west side of Chicago
As a part of their annual “Ignatian Values Day,” we brought three of our trained speakers to give separate presentations to the student body. The St. Ignatius young adults had the incredible opportunity to hear deep personal stories, directly from two young women: one who had been hurt by abortion and one who made the empowering decision to choose life. They also participated in active analysis and a discussion of abortion and pro-life feminism, led by our executive director, Emily Troscinski.
Benet Academy, in Lisle, Illinois
In their state-of-the-art theater, we held the first video shoot of our revolutionary new Heart2Heart Educational Program. Using the leading research on how students learn most effectively and retain information, this program combines storytelling and facts to be most effective at changing minds and hearts. In front of a live student audience of 200 students, four of our program speakers shared their personal stories on how abortion affected their lives. Then we led a follow-up discussion, with many great questions from our audience. After hearing the talks, 94% of the students in the audience said they felt more pro-life (and that includes students who claimed to be pro-choice).
St. Benedict Preparatory School, on the northwest side of Chicago
As a part of their Respect Life Week, we brought one of our Heart2Heart program videos to the students at St. Benedict’s. After watching the video, we engaged the students in a discussion about abortion, the resources available to pregnant women in Illinois, and what they could do for a friend in an unplanned pregnancy. It was a great discussion, spurred by fantastic questions from the students.
Brother Rice High School, on the southwest side of Chicago
Speaking to an assembly of over 800 high school boys, our executive director, Emily Troscinski gave an enthusiastic presentation on the all-important question, “Why are you pro-life?” Using both the latest medical research and her past experience with counseling women after abortion, the students were presented with the facts. Science shows life begins at conception, and studies are continuing to find evidence of the trauma and harm abortion can do to women. For the sake of protecting innocent human life in the womb and ensuring the safety of women, who wouldn’t want to be pro-life?
To reach our goal of turning Illinois pro-life, it’s crucial for our students and young people to be kept in the loop about the issues impacting them, their generation, and their future. They deserve to be presented with the latest facts and scientific research, informed of current life-related issues affecting their state and country, and trained in the pro-life values. They are the future of this state and can be the force that drives the change from the current culture of death to a culture respecting and loving life. With them we have a chance of one day turning Illinois pro-life.