Lisa Atkins, SFLA Northwest Regional Coordinator
Portland State University is one of the most liberal campuses in the Northwest Region that I travel to. It was my first stop with the Planned Parenthood Project so I was bracing myself for the possibility of a crazy day on campus.
The display consists of banners revealing statistics on Planned Parenthood from their own annual report that are shocking and meant to inform students as to the abortion giant’s true intentions. It also consists of 915 pink crosses that are placed in the ground, which represent how many abortions Planned Parenthood commits per day in America. As we were setting up the crosses, many people stopped to ask what these crosses represented as well as a few individuals on several occasions who came and yelled at us.
But that wasn’t all that happened.
Several times during the day, students came and ripped out many of our crosses from the ground – the same ones it took us nearly two hours to set up. Others students stomped on our crosses.
One lady started screaming at us at the top of her lungs near the display.
Another woman, one who was post-abortive, yelled at the president of the club that we made her feel uncomfortable because she was a victim of incest on two different occasions.
We felt scared for our safety and upset that our display was being vandalized so we called the campus police.
You know what they said?
That it was the students’ rights to vandalize our display and that they couldn’t do anything about it!
But you know what? When students yelled at us, trampled on the crosses, and knocked over our signs, it brought more attention to the display and it illuminated the distinct difference between how we carried ourselves as pro-life ambassadors and how they reacted with hate and violence.
As disheartening as it was to watch our crosses be destroyed and be yelled at by abortion supporters, bringing the Planned Parenthood Project to Portland State was worth it.
There was constantly a crowd of 15-20 people standing in front of the display reading through it and we started a conversation on campus that wasn’t there before about a business who promotes sexual promiscuity and profits when its clients become pregnant and they counsel her to have an abortion.
We recruited a whole page of pro-lifers on campus who supported what we were doing and the current club members became even more committed than before. We were able to have multiple civil conversations with students who didn’t know that Planned Parenthood commits abortions and that it is their money-maker.
It was a difficult day in a hostile environment but if no one stands up for the preborn child, then who will? I do this for my friends who are post-abortive who are hurting because of their abortions, for all of the conversations with those who walk away whose hearts I don’t know were changed and those where I’m told I made that person re-think their entire worldview.
This is what it means to be courageous in the face of opposition and in the end, this is the cause worth fighting for.