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Right to Life Week begins at College

Sarah Mayer | Monday, November 3, 2008

With abortion as a hot button issue in the upcoming election, Saint Mary’s Right to Life Week comes at an opportune time.

President of Saint Mary’s College Right to Life club, senior Meg Ryan, has many events planned for the week. The RTL meets every Sunday in Reignbeaux Lounge in Le Mans at 7:30 as an active group of women who believe in supporting life in all of its stages from conception to death, she said.

“RTL has about 35-40 active women this year,” said Ryan, “The most we’ve had in 4 years. It’s been an incredible year. Everyone is so passionate about what we stand for.”

The overall theme of this year’s RTL week is celebrating life as a reminder of beauty in all dorms, she said.

“Tuesday night we will have a candle lit prayer vigil on the library green at 8 p.m. in memory of the many lives lost to abortion; all are welcome. On Wednesday night we will have a Celebration of Life party in Reignbeaux Lounge at 7 with cake and balloons, and then 9 mass in Le Mans chapel following our celebration. Mass will be in honor of life,” Ryan said.

One of the highlights of Right to Life week is the panel discussion that will be held on Thursday. The panel, entitled “Issues of Abortion,” is a first time event on Saint Mary’s campus, accpording to a College press release.

Speakers will include, Dr. Thomas Akre, an orthopedic surgeon from Mishawaka; Professor Kevin McDonnell, philosophy of law professor at Saint Mary’s’ Fr. Bob Roggenbuck, a priest from Michigan; and key note speaker, Rebecca Kiessling, an international pro-life and adoption speaker and pro-life family attorney. It will be held in Welsh Parlour of Haggar College Center according to a College press release.

Ryan said she is especially excited for Kiessling to talk.

“She was conceived in rape and comes to SMC to tell her story and testify to the evils of abortion. This panel will be a chance for students and members of the South Bend Community to discuss and ask questions about the issues of abortion in America today.”

Kiessling’s story, as described on her Web site, starts when she discovered that she was conceived in a rape at knife-point. When she found her birth-mother she learned that she was almost aborted twice but her birth-mother backed out of both, mainly due to the fact that abortion was illegal at the time.

Her Web site also features some of her poetry and several essays on pro-life topics and “other conceived in rape stores.”

The other panelists will be covering different aspects of the abortion issue, according to the College press release. Akre will discuss the “medical/psychological issues of abortion,” McDonnell’s talk will center on “the political/judicial issues of abortion,” and Roggenbuck “will talk about Christian/Catholic views.”

From Sunday to Sunday, there will be white crosses on the library green representing lives lost due, not only to abortion, but aos to other issues of life as well such as genocide, euthanasia, and the death penalty, Ryan said.

“Life is sacred and it is our duty to protect all life at all stages”, said Ryan, “These crosses serve as a visual reminder for those on campus so as not to forget the innocent lives lost and how precious life truly is.”

Many other clubs are joining in the Celebration of Life party on Wednesday night, she said. The Daughters of Isabella, African Faith and Justice, the College Republicans and College Democrats will be joining the festive event, Ryan said.

“We hope to reach out to those women who are considering abortion as well as those women how have had an abortion and are now suffering from the post-abortion issues,” Ryan said in a College press release. “As an all women’s campus, the Right to Life organization opens its arms in support of women dealing with unplanned pregnancies or abortion. We want to create a system of support. The issues of abortion are extremely relevant and crucial to discuss on our campus.”