Ruth Lobo, arrested for standing up for her convictions, says she will never back down
By Brent Mattson
The B.C. Catholic
VANCOUVER--For Ruth Lobo, life is straightforward. Despite the noise raging around the abortion debate, she has a simple goal.
“We want to show the value of life from fertilization onward,” she says. “Our culture is very wounded. So often people don’t value their own life and then support abortion.”
Lobo entered the public eye in a big way after she was arrested on the Carlton University campus last year.
She and other members of Carlton Lifeline, the campus pro-life group, were not allowed to publicly display images of aborted fetuses because the university deemed them offensive.
When Lifeline displayed the images anyway, the Ottawa police marched in and arrested Lobo, charging her with two counts of trespassing.
“It was definitely interesting,” Lobo says. “But I wasn’t afraid; I was more concerned that our rights were being violated.”
Perhaps partly due to her arrest, Lobo was named the 2010 “International Pro-Life Activist of the Year” in January at the world’s largest pro-life conference during the Washington, D.C., March for Life.
The charges were recently dropped, but Lobo remains defiant since that run-in with the law.
“I would definitely do it again if I was in the same situation,” she says. “We need young people standing up for the truth, and society is inspired by these actions.”
Lobo now works for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR). She was in the Lower Mainland in November hosting pro-life activism seminars, as well as attending demonstrations.
She says one of the most effective methods the CCBR uses is Choice Chains.
“It’s a visual project that shows what abortion is,” Lobo says. “We stand in a line in a public place and confront the culture of death with pictures. There are pictures of aborted fetuses, as well as 3-D fetal development images and text of women saying they regret their abortions.”
She admits that this method is confrontational, but insists that it’s the only way to bring the discussion to the streets.
“We stand on the street and ask people what they think about abortion,” she says. “We show them what happens to babies during abortion.”
Despite naysayers on both sides of the debate who believe the CCBR’s methods are too aggressive, Lobo believes they are fruitful and even healing.
“We meet a lot of people who are in a lot of pain,” she says. “We are often the first person they tell that they had (an abortion).”
Lobo says people focused on life issues endure criticism and even isolation from friends and family, but “it’s worth it if we know we are saving lives. Abortion is back in the public debate because of our courage.”
The CCBR’s aim is to alter public opinion on abortion to allow for wide support of federal anti-abortion legislation.
“In the next five years we’ll be able to see legislation put forward that the culture will support because they will be properly educated on what abortion does to babies. I think our generation is dedicated to ending abortion in our lifetime.”
More information about Lobo and her work is available at www.unmaskingchoice.ca.