ND Right to Life holds March for Life week in place of annual D.C. march
Serena Zacharias | Monday, February 15, 2021
While ND Right to Life was unable to attend the annual March for Life in Washington D.C., the club held a series of events last week to raise awareness and ignite discussions regarding pro-life issues.
Junior Mary Biese, co-director of education, said the club aimed to replicate the experience of the in-person march over the course of the week while also engaging in discussions with people in the community.
To increase conversations with students, Biese helped plan a pro-life tabling event Wednesday in Duncan Student Center to have open discussions with peers walking by. Instead of changing someone’s opinion entirely, Biese said she prefers to “plant seeds,” which helps to get people thinking about issues from different perspectives.
“If you get someone thinking about [a topic], maybe it’ll come back to them later, this particular thought, or maybe it’ll give them a slightly different way of looking at it,” Biese said. “If [you] can do that, plant seeds, get them thinking about it, then I call the conversation a success.”
In the past, Biese said the club has had trouble getting people who disagree with them to engage in conversations, but they hope to change that. As the tabling event allowed ND Right to Life members to interact with students in a casual setting, club members will hold a few upcoming events to continue the conversation, including one-on-one sessions about abortion and a formal debate March 25.
“It was just really great to be present in a busy place on campus and help people to think and be able to have peaceful and loving conversations even though you might disagree,” said senior Mary Benz, co-president of ND Right to Life.
In addition to the tabling event, the club held a “Why We March” panel Tuesday for individual students to share their personal motivations for being pro-life.
In discussing why pro-life issues are important to her, Benz said she strongly believes in the value of the human person.
“Every human being deserves to be loved and cherished, and I really think that there’s no better way to spend my time than trying to help create a culture that just protects and defends every human being,” Benz said.
For Benz, her faith has grounded her perspective in being pro-life. As many other members of ND Right to Life feel the same, the club kicked off the week by holding Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which attracted a full congregation with physical distancing measures in place. Two days later, the pro-life community gathered at the Grotto on Thursday for a prayer service with Fr. Pete McCormick.
Benz said around 50 people gathered in a circle to pray the rosary for “a culture that promotes life.”
In addition to holding March for Life week, ND Right to Life will hold its annual spring event, Respect Life Week, to continue building the conversation.
Sophomore Maura Brennan said the pro-life movement often focuses on abortion, but she also sees other issues including immigration, human rights and racial inequality as part of the movement.
“We like to believe that pro-life is also actively finding opportunities to remedy those in which their rights to a free and happy life have been downtrodden upon,” Brennan said.