This week, Georgetown Right to Life has been celebrating Life Week, a time dedicated to reflection and advocacy on behalf of the pro-life movement and its causes. While we ceaselessly fight to protect life throughout the year, this week in particular allows us to intentionally explore the many facets of the movement and to spread the pro-life message around campus.
Our message is simple, though often misconstrued. We believe that every single human life is inherently valuable, regardless of ability, age, gender, dependency, race, or any other distinguishing human feature. Because we hold that every life is valuable, we seek to protect it at all stages. Every year, Life Week permits us to consider practically how we might do so and gives us an opportunity to actively support our cause through daily events and fundraisers.
On Monday, legal experts answered questions about the future of pro-life legislation. While it is important to be able to explain the philosophical basis for the pro-life stance, bringing about legal change requires knowledge about the laws surrounding abortion, euthanasia, etc. Through this type of discussion, we are able to understand how life is currently protected under the law and explore potential avenues by which it can be protected more comprehensively. Indeed, our cause relies on translating abstract philosophy into concrete legal action.
On Tuesday, we discussed a medical perspective on abortion through a viewing and discussion of the documentary HUSH. The documentary takes aim at the disinformation campaign perpetrated by abortion proponents. It examines some of the risks of abortion that are often ignored by the abortion industry, and it asks difficult questions of people on both sides. Afterward, Dr. Donovan, Director of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics led a short discussion after the film.
Wednesday’s event, A Pro-Life Perspective on Disability, facilitated conversation about the intersection of disability and pro-life issues. Far too often, women are advised to abort because of a poor prenatal diagnosis. Indeed, the people in a woman’s life, from medical professionals to family members, can become frantically hyperbolic at the first sign of unusual in-utero detections. The resort to abortion stems from a poor perspective on disability (a true bias against those who are different) as well as a focus on what the child might not do as opposed to what it can do. Those with disabilities are just as valuable and able to live happy, fulfilling lives as those who are fully able-bodied. This event showcased the pro-life movement’s important role in protecting the rights of the born and unborn with disabilities.
On Thursday, we presented a striking visual of the ideas and statistics we discussed in the days prior. Small, blue and pink flags were placed on Copley lawn to demonstrate the average number of lives lost to abortion in America every single day. The weight of this event is undeniable, and viewers are given a glimpse at the cost of abortion. More than just numbers, the flags represent the human cost and shed light on the number of individuals who will never be able to speak up for their rights and the mothers who were cornered into making a wrenching choice. Seeing this display always motivates me to continue the fight, despite its unpopularity on campus, because it recognizes each of those voiceless and now otherwise invisible lives.
Life Week culminates on Friday and Saturday in two service projects. Friday, there is a bake sale for the North West Pregnancy Resource Center, a crisis pregnancy center founded by Hoya alumni and later, on Saturday, a diaper drive for Hope Pregnancy Resource Center in Northern Virginia. These service opportunities provide a way to put into actions the passionate ideals we heard throughout the preceding days. Life Week combines pro-life activism and rhetoric with demonstrable service. Through these service events, we seek to alleviate some of the undeniable costs of raising a child in this world. In the end, we believe that women who turn to abortion really had no choice, but rather they felt otherwise helpless. Thus, we desire to create a society that fully supports mothers and children, eliminating abortion as even a consideration. In supporting those who have chosen life and their children, we further advance our goal of protecting life from conception to natural death.
The volume and wide variety of these events demonstrate the passion of the pro-life voice here at Georgetown. A Jesuit university, Georgetown believes in the dignity of human life as a fundamental Truth. Life Week is a time during which we fiercely promote this dignity and uphold the Jesuit values that we maintain as a school. While we fight for the pro-life cause every week, these designated few days allow us to dedicate our time and resources to learning more and advocating more deliberately for the protection of human life.
RTL Tabling Co-Chair