“Girls our age don’t have abortions,”
asserted Ally, a Dublin Scioto High School student. She was standing with a group of friends who were all walking home and passing our signs. I was taken aback by what this girl said, but then I realized that the statistics so well-known to me and the conversations that I have had with high school students, are not common knowledge and experiences. I took a second to think back to the last several central Ohio high school outreaches I had done and something very disturbing hit me.
We had personally met a post-abortive student at every high school but one.
“At the last three of four high schools we have been to, we have met at least one post-abortive student. We met a high schooler who just had a baby a month ago, as well. Nationally, about 300 teenagers will have an abortion today, as 12% of abortions are performed on teenagers. This is happening every day in America and this is happening here in Central Ohio with high school students,” I replied, while pointing to the photo of 6 and 11-week-old abortion victims.
“Oh wow! I will actually take some information then,” decided Ally. Her friends on the other hand, just wanted to keep walking. They wanted to ignore the victims of the greatest human injustice of our day and of all recorded history, and they wanted to ignore that high schoolers are participating in this. I have spoken to many individuals, some who identify as pro-life, who believe high schoolers are much too young to see or discuss abortion. If these young adults are old enough to have abortions, which they are, they are old enough and deserve to see and discuss all the evidence surrounding abortion.
My encounter with Ally made me think back to the other encounters our team has had at high schools. From hearing about a girl at Ally’s own school who had an abortion to the student at Dublin Coffman who confessed to aborting her baby to ‘Daniel’ from Northland who said, “My girlfriend ‘Amanda’ just had abortion two weeks ago. Neither of us wanted to do it but our parents told us we had to. It seemed like an okay option at the time but now I’m thinking it really wasn’t a good idea. That was my baby.” I was also reminded of my encounter at Pickerington Central less than a month before.
That day in Pickerington, we met a lot of students, but two in particular stood out: “Sally,” who had an abortion last month and “Megan,” who just had a baby last month and is now parenting her child. When I asked Sally what she thought about abortion, she simply stated, “I had an abortion a month ago.” I hear this from college students and adults in downtown areas all the time, but it really staggered me to hear it from a high schooler. When I asked her how she was doing, she explained, “I wanted to do an adoption, but my family wouldn’t let me… I’m doing terrible. It’s still really hard…”
This encounter struck me to the core. Thinking of family members and friends from high school who faced teenage pregnancies, the loss of this child and pain of this teenage mother was hard for me to bear. What if we went to Pickerington a month earlier? Would seeing abortion and hearing about the resources available for those in crisis pregnancies have helped Ally choose life for her baby? Would she be another “Megan” with a newborn, instead of a mother mourning a decision that dismembered her child? Even if we can offer these young mothers and fathers the good news of Christ’s forgiveness and healing, we cannot undo their children’s death. In this sorrow, I was struck with a thankfulness though: a thankfulness that we are there reaching those high school students in a way that hardly anyone else will. Even though we may not have reached Sally, Amanda, or Daniel in time, we are reaching other students. I am thankful that Created Equal is filling this need, and for the babies that we are able to save. I am thankfully reminded of Nancy, a Whitehall Yearling High School student, who kept her now 8-month-old girl when she saw a photo of what abortion would do to her baby.
– Gabriel Vance, Director of External Affairs