Summer of life for Project Truth volunteers
Project Truth is a youth-led initiative bringing life to the streets of Scotland. Recently the team toured Scotland to discuss the facts about human development in the womb with the public. How did they get on? And what inspired them to get involved? We spoke to two Catholics in the Archdiocese about their experience...
For Joey Chalmers, 20, a civil servant from Dunfermline, real conversations are better than social media.
He highlighted the benefits of discussing the issue of abortion on the streets off Central Scotland. He said: “Getting to the issue directly means it’s a level playing field - no-one can hide behind a keyboard. You can say what’s on your mind.
"Talking to people face to face, whether they react positively or negatively, is a better way to gauge the public’s understanding and emotions towards abortion.”
Joey, above, found the direct approach can change hearts and minds: “The best encounter I had was with a gentleman in Linlithgow who just didn’t value his opinion as valid (being male). I managed to convince him that his opinion was. It takes two people to have a child – it’s a fifty-fifty input from each party.”
“A lot of people are willing to come up and speak to you” says Anna McCourt, 19, a maths student at Edinburgh University.
“I had a really nice woman come up to me who had had a stillbirth and a miscarriage, who had gone through a lot, and we spoke about different misconceptions about the pro-life movement.
"Then I had a really nice girl my age who had a compassionate view but her arguments weren't very consistent – so I was able to talk through her viewpoint and help her think stuff through.
"She was really open to speaking about it and having her mind changed, which I didn’t expect at all.”
Anna, main picture, found the public were open to a caring, listening approach. “Being able to find common ground and stating clearly that we care about woman and that they deserve better than abortion was great. We are compassionate and can show that there’s a better way than abortion, that there are alternatives.
"We listen to people and take their argument seriously while respecting their thoughts. That can go a long way to building respect.”
Paul Atkin, from the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office, said: “It is great to see confident Catholics taking the pro-life message to the public. Life is winning one conversation at a time.”
For more information about Pro-Life work in the Archdiocese email Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 623 8917. Visit Project Truth on Facebook.
Young parishioners take pro-life message to streets of Scotland
Meet the young people from the Archdiocese hitting the streets of Scotland to speak the truth about abortion.
Joey, Anna and Liam are part of the Project Truth 2019 Roadshow, which takes the pro-life message to towns and cities across the country from 4th-9th August.
Joey from Fife currently works for the Scottish Government and is taking part for the first time.
He said: "I am looking forward to exploring the compassionate side of the pro-life community.
"I like to debate from a statistical perspective, but I know that Project Truth will teach me to become more empathetic to those who sit on the other side of the fence.
"I am Pro-Life because humanity will never find out the potential of what we have destroyed.
Anna is a student at Edinburgh University. She is also a first time Project-Truther!
She said: "Being pro-life is by no means a mainstream opinion in Scotland, but I think that Project Truth opens up the opportunity for dialogue and, in turn, people’s mindset.
"By joining the Project Truth Roadshow, I hope to expose to people the humanity of the unborn, and encourage the view that women can succeed, can thrive, can be happy, in a culture of life."
Liam, from Croftanee is doing his third roadshow.
He said: "As former US President Ronald Reagan once said: 'I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born'.
"This partly sums up our throwaway culture, who often live for themselves, their indulgences and their pleasures.
"This is a week where young pro-lifers can come together to truly live for someone else and put that selflessness into practise. To take a stand for those who can’t."
Louise Grant, Director of Youth Development for the Scottish Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC Scotland) is organising the roadshow.
She said: "This is about bringing the truth to the streets, a truth which is so often hidden because of the controversial nature of the abortion issue.
"Project Truth aims to break the silence, to bring the facts to the streets, to engage in positive discussions with passers by in the hope that hearts and minds will be changed because the reality is – we are not just talking about ‘an issue’ – we are talking about unique human lives, lives that are under threat in the place they should be safest.
"Until each child is protected by law in their mother’s womb, we will continue to bear witness to the pro-life message and fight for the most basic human rights of the unborn – the right to life.
The Project Truth 2019 Roadshow takes place from 4-9 August and visits Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Linlithgow and Stirling. Visit Project Truth on Facebook
Visit the GoFundMe page to make a donation to help fund the roadshow.