European Pro-Life Advocates Relying on American Resolve to Help Stop Abortions
by Bryan Kemper
March 18, 2009
LifeNews.com Note: Bryan Kemper is the president of Stand True Ministries, a pro-life group that reaches out to youth and young adults. He is the organizer of the Students Day of Silent Solidarity, which sees pro-life students use red tape and armbands to "speak up" for unborn children.
I just returned from a speaking and outreach trip to Europe. I was joined by Jeremy Limpic, one of our artists and webmaster for the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity.
I was invited over by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children to speak at an international youth pro-life conference. I was also invited to speak at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Along with the speaking engagements, we also went to Poland to film some footage at Auschwitz and plan for a future Stand True trip to Auschwitz. I also joined Youth Defence in Ireland to outreach at the abortion referral service and help them build up their online street team.
Our trip started in Scotland where I spoke several times at the youth conference held by SPUC. This was a great weekend as I was able to launch the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity at many European schools. I was impressed at how motivated most of the students were and how much they wanted to start pro-life organizations and movements in their schools and cities.
This was my second year in a row at this conference and I was encouraged to see it double in attendance. I was so impressed with how many of the students who attended last year took what they learned back to their campuses and started pro-life groups at home.
After an amazing weekend at the conference, it was off to Krakow, Poland for 3 days. One of the coolest parts of being somewhere in Europe is that you can take a Ryan Air flight almost anywhere in Europe for about $20 -$50 round trip. We spent only $35 to go to Poland and used the site www.couchsurfing.com to find a free place to sleep.
Our first day in Poland was spent at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration camps. I knew it would be life-changing before I walked into the camp, but never had I expected how much it would affect me. I have been to museums in the past, but being onsite is just another level of horror. I will be using the footage I filmed in a DVD we have planned for next winter and I will be writing a long commentary about my experiences there in a couple of weeks; for now I will just tell you that it has strengthened my pro-life commitment even more.
We left Poland on Wednesday and flew to Dublin, Ireland to meet up with Youth Defence, the coolest collection of pro-life youth outside of the United States. Youth Defence is the organization that is responsible for keeping Ireland abortion-free.
After a few hours of seeing some of the cool sites in Dublin, the following morning Jeremy and I took a train to Belfast, Northern Ireland to speak at Queens University for the pro-life society and Precious Life.
I was very pumped about this event as the pro-life society had been defunct for some time and this was the first event they were having to bring it back to campus. The meeting was a huge success and immediately after the meeting there were several people volunteering to get more involved in Belfast and on campus.
The next morning I was up bright and early to catch a train back to Dublin for some sidewalk counseling at the abortion referral service with Youth Defence. In Ireland abortion is illegal, yet there are referral services which send girls to England to kill their babies.
I was trying to talk to a young girl going in the building and was told to shut up by her mother. I offered her help and her mom cursed at us, telling us not to say anything to her, that her mind was made up. It was obvious that the mother was pressuring the young girl into an abortion. I told the mom that she is now a grandmother and pleaded with her to protect her grandchild, not send her off to her death. She threatened me and pushed her daughter inside the building.
I stood outside the window with a picture of a beautiful live baby in the womb and prayed for the family and the baby. They came out a few minutes later and I tried to offer the young girl help again, letting her know we could provide whatever she needed to keep the baby. The mother again cursed us and told us it was too late; the decision was made. My heart was broken as I watched this grandmother pushing her own daughter toward killing her grandchild.
The next day I woke up early to catch my flight back to the U.S. and home to see my family. I went in to kiss my daughters late that night and thought about the poor young woman in Ireland whose parents would push her into such horrific situation. I thank God for the work of Christ in my life, for the passion for Him and for life.
I have been home for three days now and I leave today for my Australian speaking tour. I know Australia sounds like a blast, but it will be exhausting as I have been on the road for so long and I will need your prayers. Youth for Life Australia has put together an amazing speaking tour and one-day conference and I am excited to be a part of this. Survivors will be joining me as we travel down the coast from Sydney to Melbourne for this speaking tour.
The state of the pro-life movement in the United States is important for our European and international friends.
It seems as though many of the pro-life groups in Europe are worried about the state of things in America. Some told me that they believe if we allow things to get worse here, it will make things harder there in Europe. They believe they need to see victory here in America, to see victory in Europe.
The same thing is happening over there that is happening here with youth. I am seeing more and more young people willing to stand up and join this fight. In the UK there are pro-life groups being started on campuses by some passionate young people. In Northern Ireland there is a renewed passion at Queens University as thing are heating up over there, with Northern Ireland being pressured to legalize abortion.
In Ireland, the Youth Defence are truly responsible for defeating the Lisbon Treaty and keeping abortion out of Ireland.
Every January, I see representatives from all of these organizations here in the states at the March for Life. They come to get energized, learn and network with us. I have been traveling to their countries now to learn from them, and get energized by them. It is important for American pro-lifers to not forget about the rest of the world, they are watching us closely and counting on us to win our battle here.
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