Students for Human Life defends club as more than “anti-abortion”

Dedicated to addressing today’s most pressing and controversial life issues, Students for Human Life is the type of club that inevitably draws some degree of community feedback, as recently observed in an opinions article in the previous issue of the Knight Errant. However, we share a common goal to always respond to these concerns with the utmost respect in order to both encourage productive discussion and promote understanding about our mission and activities.

We advocate pro-life action: this term is not exclusively Catholic, but rather representative of many life issues, including, but certainly not limited to, abortion. The intent of Students for Human Life is to shed light on and act upon all issues that demand a respect for the lives of all people, including euthanasia, the death penalty, abortion, the School of the Americas (a war training facility in Fort Benning, Georgia, that inappropriately reflects the mission of the U.S. Army), and war.

Members and advisers of the club encourage other students to either join or look into our mission if they are interested in any one or more of the issues covered. For this reason, club members keep the “Students for Human Life” name, as opposed to “Students Against Abortion,” which would falsely represent its goals and beliefs.

Naturally, abortion is a focus for our club since it is the most prevalent of the five issues in our immediate community. However, it is evident for those who are involved with the club and attend the meetings that we allot the majority of our time to other issues.

Students for Human Life by no means supports any specific political agenda or bias. The beliefs of the club correspond with both the anti-war viewpoint of many liberals and the pro-life viewpoint of many conservatives; neither of which are preferred or undermined by the advisers and members.

Furthermore, members of both Students for Human Life and the school are neither discriminated against for their religious or political affiliations nor encouraged to alter their beliefs in order to be accepted by the club. They are rather expected to show and act upon a respect for all human lives and hold themselves and their peers to a certain level of dignity and self-worth.

Examples of the club’s volunteer work and awareness activities include attending the annual Washington D.C. March for Life, monthly vigils at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Peace Bridge, volunteering at various Metro-area women’s centers, hosting representatives from Invisible Children, participation in Cupcakes for Life, and planning future events focusing on genocide and the School of the Americas.

Although the article claimed that many in the BSM community already know about life issues and that our efforts to raise awareness are fruitless, we disagree. We have consistently observed how little students know about details like the genocide and War in Darfur and its effects on upcoming generations, the reasons that the death row executions in Florida and Texas were approved, etc. Club members agree that part of meaningful service involves being thoroughly informed about the life issues they are supporting. It is our hope that critics of our club will grow to respectfully support the spirit of our organization even if they personally disagree with our positions on specific life issues.