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Respect life week

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dear Observer Reader,

The week of October 5-11 the Notre Dame Campus, in union with the United States Council for Catholic Bishops, will observing Respect Life Week. The aim of the week is to promote prayer for an end to abortion and all issues that offend the dignity of human life, to educate campus on the essential facts of these life issues and to promote practical ways in which students can help to address these issues.

I can imagine that you, Observer reader, might fall into one of three camps. You might be avidly pro-choice, and with the best of intentions might believe that while abortion is a truly tragic thing, a woman ought to have a right to make a choice about her future and her body. In that case, in the true spirit of a university – which comes from the Latin universitas, meaning “the whole, the total, the universe, the world” – I invite you to come and hear “the whole;” I invite you to hear what we have to say. Your claim is that you care for women – and I believe you do – but we claim to care as well. Thus I invite you to come and see exactly how it is that we claim to care for the dignity of women.

Pardon if I’m entirely misrepresenting you, Observer reader, and the above might not be you at all. You might be joyfully pro-life, and very much in line with the cause for life. With that in mind, you might wonder, “I know what they’re going to talk about, why ought I to go?” True, you might know exactly all that we’ll be addressing, but you might have a friend who does not. Further, you might not have heard this or that particular point of view. Finally, as a one who truly cares about promoting a culture of life, it is your responsibility to form yourself in the best way to uphold and defend this culture, and a huge part of this week is meant to be just that: formational.

Finally, Observer reader, you might be neither A nor B above, but rather C: “it’s not really that big of an issue, people get too worked up about it.” Maybe that’s not quite it either: “I’m personally opposed, but I think women ought to have a right to choose,” or maybe just simply, “I don’t really know what I think, and I don’t really care.” Granted, A and B above are much more defined, but C is the very broad middle ground of the life debate.

If that be the case, then I’ll leave you with this: thousands of people around the world claim that this is a huge issue – one way or the other – and this University is giving you the chance to find out why. And ultimately, a university education is about finding out the ‘why.’ I invite you to come see for yourself.

If you’ve made it this far in this letter, I commend you; you’ve already been far too generous with your time. That’s exactly what I want to finish with: time. You are all tremendously busy, and busy with many good things: friends, service, studying, etc. But this year’s Respect Life Week I want to challenge you to seriously think about these life issues. Think seriously – whether you fall into A, B, C, above or even none of the above – if you could do something for yourself by attending one of our events this Respect Life Week.

Will everything entirely collapse, will you not get into law school, will your girlfriend or boyfriend dump you or will you flunk out of college if you spend between an hour or an hour and a half one day of this week to seriously engage life issues? Probably not, but you might end up doing something, quite literally life-changing [no pun intended] for yourself or a friend.

For more information, please visit www.ndrighttolife.org or e-mail us at [email protected]

A message from: Notre Dame Right to Life.

Mary Kate Daly


Notre Dame Right to Life

Oct. 3