Loyola talks diversity in the pro-life movement

By Sophie Trist, Contributing writer, Clarion Herald

As the president of the pro-life club among many pro-choice, fellow students, I often hear that being against abortion means you’re a white, misogynistic Christian who disregards children after birth.

Wolf Pack for Life wanted to showcase some less traditional pro-life voices, so along with Louisiana Right to Life and Tulane University Right to Life, we organized a panel called “Diversity in the Pro-life Movement: Can you be Atheist, Feminist, Progressive, and Pro-Life?”

On Feb. 21, people gathered to hear from four speakers: Destiny Herndan-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists; Aimee Murphy of Rehumanize International; Cessilye Smith, a maternal and racial justice activist; and Albany Rose, an atheist who became pro-life after a coerced abortion.

When I asked the speakers what being pro-life meant to them, Murphy answered, “I believe that every human being has inherent dignity, and, because of that, we all share in human equality. That’s why I’m feminist, that’s why I’m progressive.”

When we discussed abortion after rape, Murphy said that we must love those women and not minimize their trauma. Pro-lifers should empower these survivors so that they don’t feel forced to pass on their abuser’s violence to their unborn children.

When asked about the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, Herndan-De La Rosa said, “Our culture isn’t ready. Until our culture sees the humanity of the unborn, abortion will be seen as necessary. We need to empower women so much that abortion becomes unthinkable.”

Several pro-choicers attended, and, when one of them mentioned the women who died from unsafe abortions before Roe, Smith asked if abortion was really what those women needed. She said we need to work together to uproot the poverty, racial bias and inadequate healthcare that perpetuate abortion.

After the event, a member of Loyola’s College Democrats said, “It was really important for me to see real people who don’t agree with me on everything but with whom I can find some common ground.”

A full video of the event is available on Louisiana Right to Life’s YouTube channel. This event succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. People came together in meaningful dialogue, and pro-lifers and pro-choicers gained a newfound respect for each other.

While we may disagree on abortion, we should work together to improve healthcare and other socioeconomic factors for pregnant women.

Sophie Trist attends Loyola University New Orleans.

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