OSV Newsweekly recently published a piece interviewing several people who are making strides for the pro-life movement in higher education. Their experiences highlight some of the challenges of being pro-life on a college campus.
In public universities, “vandalism of pro-life displays or discrimination against pro-life student groups by university officials are not uncommon,” said Anna Eubanks, a 23-year-old junior business major and one of the founders of the Students for Life chapter at the University of Central Arkansas. She told OSV Newsweekly of an incident in which a campus raised complaints in response to pro-life chalk drawings on campus sidewalks.
Maria Lewis founded a non-profit outreach dedicated to counseling and educating students on life and death issues. Maria is the daughter of immigrant parents from India who fled the country to avoid the two-child policy. “My brothers and sisters could have been killed in India,” Lewis told OSV Newsweekly. “My parents gave [us] life.” She explained that the organization, Pro-Lifers of the Mystical Rose, “gives [students] the resources they need [and] help[s] them through abortion-related issues with absolute love, no hate and no judging.”
Amanda Conklin, a staff member of the campus ministries at St. Lawrence University and State University of New York reportedly explained:
There are a lot of teachers who are not only atheists but definitely pro-choice. The students hear a lot of rhetoric every day, and when you hear something over and over, it becomes ingrained, and it’s harder for them to recognize the truth. It’s a huge challenge to overcome the cultural noise out there.
Despite societal pressure, young people “are not afraid to go out there and speak,” according to Liz Tingquist, a director of youth and campus ministries for the Diocese of Little Rock. “Over the years, I have found that our young people are more and more pro-life and more steeply entrenched in their Catholicism,” she reportedly said.
Many universities recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have dynamic pro-life ministries and organizations which prayerfully protest outside abortion clinics, offer counseling, and fundraise for local pregnancy centers. Students from man Newman Guide-recommended colleges were credited this past January for their enthusiastic participation in the March for Life and their contributions to the pro-life cause.
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