Veterans in the youth prolife movement mingled with the newly initiated and those just around for a look at the Stayin’ Alive Prolife Training Day 2012 held last Saturday (1 December).
The information was pitched at an appropriate level for everyone regardless of their experience in the prolife movement. One of my close friends was there for the first time and really enjoyed all the new information. I must confess that I came away thinking I hadn’t learned anything new, ‘heard it all before’, but what do you know – 2 days later in a conversation with a pro-choice friend I’m pulling out maxims and arguments that I wasn’t using before Saturday!
Stayin’ Alive Training Days are one day pro-life events aimed at youth that are held in the South Island on a Saturday in March/April, and then again in the North Island in late November/early December. Knowledgeable and informative speakers present topics on prolife issues, and there is plenty of opportunity to discuss the new things you’ve learned with those around you. Saturday’s event was held in Auckland and hosted participants right from Whangarei down to Invercargill.
This Saturday’s main sessions were presented by Brendan Malone and Matt Flannagan on the topics of ‘Ethics and Abortion’, ‘Utilitarianism, Relativism, Logical Fallacies and Abortion’. Afternoon workshop choices included presentations and discussions on Eugenics, Post-abortion trauma, the issues with media engagement (including how to effectively use the internet for our cause), The Culture of Life, and Abortion, the Hippocratic oath and Medicine. Workshop speakers interacted more closely with us, sharing personal stories and issuing challenges to their listeners.
I really appreciated hearing real life stories in the workshop ‘What women in crisis-pregnancy need from us’. It brought home the intense personal-ness and acute reality of the situations of women in crisis pregnancy. Abortion affects not only the unborn child, but also the mother, the father, and friends and family of those involved. It is because of these women and the reality of their situation that we are working in this cause to promote alternatives to abortion and support systems in crisis pregnancy. I was really challenged and reminded of the need to unconditionally love and support those in such difficult circumstances, and to approach everything in relation to this without judgement.
It was really encouraging to see such a growing generation of youth interested and involved in the prolife cause – a sure sign that this movement in New Zealand is growing and strengthening. Those at the event were encouraged to get involved with the various prolife movements in the country such as Voice for Life, or the national youth/university based organization ProLife New Zealand.
The next Stayin’ Alive training day will be held in Christchurch in early 2013. The Stayin Alive program also runs an intensive six day Stayin’ Alive internship which offers in-depth formation in pro-life ethics, philosophy and apologetics, as well as important practical skills such as leadership training, event/project management and media training.
I would thoroughly recommend everybody to attend a Stayin’ Alive Training Day – it’s well worth your time! For those interested in a more in depth look at the issues and a more challenging perspective I certainly encourage you to apply for the internship. For more information on either of these visit stayinalive.org.nz