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Students for Life promotes pro-life stance in campus activism

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Courtesy of Justin Korbel

Student organization Students for Life takes a pro-life stance through activism surrounding nonviolence.

According to members of Students for Life, the club strives to end aggressive violence of any kind by taking a stance against abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, rape, torture, abuse, unjust war, capital punishment, embryonic stem-cell research, suicide and human trafficking.

Ellie Kirby, 40 Days Coordinator for Students for Life and a junior studying human development and family studies, said Students for Life’s main focus is abortion. Club members will also talk about contraceptives and the science behind fetal development.

“We talk about abortion, but in the sense of the development of the baby and like what the mother is going through in that development,” Kirby said.

Students for Life meets at 8:15 pm every other Wednesday (next meeting Feb. 14) in 0268 Carver Hall. A typical bi-weekly meeting involves a student speaker and a guest speaker from the community or a local pro-life organization.

Justin Korbel, president of Students for Life and a senior in mechanical engineering, said Students for Life brings in speakers to educate club members on abortion.

“We like to talk to people on campus. People have probably seen us, we’re outside of Parks [Library] sometimes with a green neon tent sign that says ‘Should abortion remain legal?’” Korbel said. “We just like to talk to students on campus trying to understand the other side better and trying to help people understand the pro-life side of the issue.”

According to Korbel, the topics discussed in Students for Life meetings are all related, with life being the main focus. Korbel said he believes advocating for the protection of human life from conception to natural death is tied to the human dignity of the person.

“So through talking about abortion and educating people about abortion, you can take that and apply the same reasoning to human trafficking and things like euthanasia,” Korbel said. “It all relates together, but we mainly focus on abortion.”

The other issues the club discusses are related, Korbel said.

“We’re defending life, in the womb and life at the end of life, like when someone is dying, in a coma, has had a stroke or has a disability,” Kirby said. “We are saying that life is valuable. It’s valuable at conception and it’s valuable throughout someone’s life so long as their heart is beating.”

Paula Braun, treasurer and outreach chair of Students for Life and a sophomore majoring in psychology, stated human trafficking also ties into abortion. Braun stated that life is valuable and when an individual gets human trafficked their rights are being taken away, which can be compared to abortion.

Korbel said his opinions come from science, faith and because he believes that human life is valuable.

Kirby said growing up, both of her parents were pro-life, but she did not understand her position until she heard two women speak on their experiences with abortion.

“I just feel that life needs to be protected in the womb as well, because it’s just as much of a life even if it’s within its mother,” Kirby said.

Braun said she did not start getting involved in the pro-life movement until a few years ago when she was in high school and starting college.

“I’ve grown a lot in my knowledge of the pro-life mission and just wanting to protect valuable life stages. I’ve heard many testimonies of women who have been torn apart by [abortion] so I want to stand up for those women as well,” Braun said.

Kirby said she decided to get involved with Students for Life after coming to college and wanting to have conversations with people about their stances on abortion. According to Kirby, being pro-life, to her, is like being pro-women.

“I know that can sometimes seem like they can’t go hand in hand. But women have this awesome and unique capability to carry a baby,” Kirby said.“You want to be able to tell a woman that, ‘I believe you can do this.’ Women are so capable and can do so much and a baby should never be able to stop you.”

Kirby and Braun both said there are resources and support systems for those taking a pro-life stance.

“The pro-life side really does want to do things, not just tell people what to do. There are a lot of resources out there and people do want to help people,” Kirby said.

More information on Students for Life is listed on its page on the Student Organization Database.

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