Minnesota high school students brave the bitter cold and nasty remarks from abortion activists every week to pray outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Paul.
Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, the students at Chesterton Academy, a Catholic school in Hopkins, are enthusiastic as they pray for mothers and their babies, The Catholic Spirit reports.
So eager are they to make an impact for life that many students arrive at school early just so they can sign up for one of the limited slots to go, according to the report.
“Teenagers often feel like there’s nothing they can actually, tangibly do to make a difference in the world,” said Kalley Yanta, a pro-life sidewalk counselor and Chesterton Academy parent. “But this is very tangible, especially among people like them who understand the power of prayer.”
Their enthusiasm exemplifies the passion of the pro-life generation, young people who realize the value of every human life and the devastation caused by abortion. In America, tens of millions of high school students are missing because they were aborted. Since 1973, more than 63 million unborn babies have been aborted in the U.S., and that total grows by nearly 1 million every year.
But young people like the students at Chesterton Academy are working to end the deadly practice and restore a culture of life.
Every week, Yanta and other parents take 40 students from the school to the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Paul to pray, according to the report. The weekly prayer event is part of the school’s Crusaders for Life effort, which encourages students to take action to protect every human life.
Yanta said they only take 40 students each week for logistical and safety reasons. She said people sometimes can be nasty and hostile outside the abortion facility.
Student Claire Lelemsis, a sophomore who often attends, told the newspaper that more students probably would go if they could.
During the sign-up period Monday mornings, she said: “There’s always a huge line coming out of the office — big traffic in the hallway — because so many kids are so passionate about this. It’s such a community and bonding experience with our whole generation, and showing people that we are the pro-life generation.”
Last year, sophomore Thomas DeReuil said they helped two women choose life for their unborn babies.
He told the Catholic Spirit that they watched both women pull into the abortion facility parking lot one day in April. Later, he said both approached the students to tell them that they had changed their minds about abortion and decided to have their babies.
“That just really hit me,” DeReuil said. “They’re real lives and you’re actually saving them. It’s just so powerful and crazy.”
Dale Ahlquist, the interim headmaster and a co-founder of the school, told the newspaper that they strive to build a culture of life with their students.
“When we formed the school, part of our mission was to counteract the culture of death,” Ahlquist said. “When Kalley came in with this idea, it just resonated wonderfully. I think our only disappointment was that we hadn’t thought of it earlier.”