Project Truth brings humanity and healing to the streets of Scotland
16 August 2017
The team at the start of the week.
Last week, 25 young people took to the streets of Scotland to share the pro-life message.
Project Truth, an initiative of SPUC Scotland, is now in its fourth year, and the 2017 roadshow was bigger and better than ever. The roadshow involves travelling to towns and cities around Scotland, setting up a stall in the street, and engaging with passersby - showing them the humanity of the unborn child, having conversations, and letting people affected by abortion know that help is available.
This year, so many people came that two teams set up in different cities every day, meaning that Project Truth came to Edinburgh and Stirling, Dunfermline and Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen, Motherwell and Coatbridge, and different streets in Glasgow! Louise Grant, the development officer for SPUC Scotland, who ran the roadshow, said: "I think that this year’s Roadshow was absolutely incredible! We had a fantastic team of people who gelled together well, each letting their own gifts shine through and each reaching people who another might not be able to."
For example, Sarah, who found herself pregnant at university, came on the roadshow "because of Dominic—our unplanned pregnancy who turned out to be the greatest gift of life." This unique insight meant that when a lady came to the stall in Leith, looking for an argument, asking "do any of you have kids?", she was there to share her experience and have a fruitful conversation.
Other team members brought different perspectives. Megan could highlight the humanity of the unborn child from the viewpoint of someone who had been born very premature. The debate is also personal for Meritzell - she and all her siblings are adopted. Anthonia had no idea if she was pro-life or not - until she attended the SPUC Youth Conference! You can read all the team's bios here.
Humanity of the unborn child...
Over the course of the roadshow, nearly 7000 leaflets detailing the development of the baby in the first ten weeks of pregnancy were distributed, and nearly 500 people signed SPUC Scotland's petition opposing the decriminalisation of abortion. Hundreds of lollies displaying the unborn baby's feet at ten weeks were also given out to children, who also marvelled at the foetal models showing the development of the baby.
Sharing the wonder of the baby's development with children is one of the joys of the roadshow.
...and healing for women
But the roadshow isn't just about showing the humanity of the unborn - it's about offering real help to women before - and, crucially. after - abortion. Louise, who is also co-ordinator for the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline (ARCH) said: "There were a lot of highlights but this year I was totally overwhelmed by how many people opened up to us about their own abortion experience.
"We know that what we’re doing might unfortunately be a trigger for some people if they’re hurting, but this year people seemed to be sharing their experiences openly and we were delighted to be able to listen to their stories and offer them contact with ARCH. I can honestly say that I’ve never spoken to so many post abortive women on the street or given out as many ARCH cards as I did this year – other returning team members have said the same. One of the most important things that we do is show that we are there for and compassionate towards those who have been negatively affected by an abortion decision, and this year each team member proved just that."
Even when the team was out relaxing, they were still reaching people. One night at a pizza place, two girls came and asked what the hoodies meant. In conversation with Louise, it emerged that one of the girls' stepsister had had an abortion at a young age and had never got over it. Louise just happened to have an ARCH card in her pocket, and was able to pass on the message that help was available.
Louise concludes: "The people we met may not call straight away, but just knowing that someone is there to listen if they need it will be a massive comfort. I hope that these and many other encounters that we had will change the view of what most of the public think being pro-life is all about – even if they still didn’t agree with us on all the points we made, most will have had a positive experience speaking to our team and who knows, that might just plant the seed."
Louise snaps a selfie of her team in Dunfermline.