Notre Dame Right to Life Club hosts annual ‘You Are Loved’ week
Reyna Lim | Monday, April 11, 2022
The Notre Dame Right to Life Club hosted its annual “You Are Loved” (YAL) Week last week. The week is hosted every spring by the club with the intention of bringing in new members and advocating against abortion.
“Our commitments are to protect and uphold the sanctity of all life, and most importantly, to remind all students on campus that they are loved and they are worthy of love,” said incoming club president and sophomore Merlot Fogarty.
“We initiated many new aspects to YAL week this year, including a coffee house chat with Professor Carter Snead, the director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, in which students were able to discuss any topic,” Fogarty said.
Other new events this year included sock tie-dying and a bonfire.
This year, the week’s theme was “Imago Dei: You Are Made in the Image of God.”
“The goals of this week are to encourage community, pray for women and their children, investigate life-related issues more deeply, spread the word about pregnancy resources and build community,” senior Mary Biese, Right to Life’s co-director of education, said.
In the spirit of this year’s theme, the club focused on many prayer and community-building events. They also partnered with the charity Let Them Live, raising money for a single working mother who recently had twins.
“We are excited to continue this partnership next year and beyond,” Biese said.
The week also featured a lecture series on topics covered in the Humanae Vitae encyclical by Pope Paul V, particularly on the subject of contraception.
“The turnout for these events has been tremendous,” Fogarty said. “They were the most-attended events we have held in years.”
Fogarty said the series showed the need for discussions on Notre Dame’s campus on the “stigma around sex and contraception, especially in Catholic circles.”
Biese said Abigail Favale’s talk on Thursday was a memorable event. Favale is the dean of the College of Humanities and a professor of English at George Fox University. Biese said that Favale’s talk, alongside the rest of the series, did a “fabulous job” answering many of the questions closest to people’s hearts.
“We were very excited to bring such a distinguished speaker to campus since last year, off-campus speakers weren’t an option,” she said.
Fogarty said she also enjoyed Favale’s talk.
“Her lecture traced the threads of the conceptual and ‘contraceptual’ mindset from the 1900s to today, addressing the transexual rights movement, the terminology shift in describing men and women and the hypersexualization of women,” Fogarty said. “These have led to a modern-day contraceptive paradox in which there is a seemed ‘sterility mindset’ among women participating in casual sex, leading to more unplanned pregnancies and, subsequently, more abortions.”
Biese said the club’s mission of “building a pro-life, pro-family culture” that rejects abortion is no simple task.
“These talks witnessed the complexity and hope for rebuilding our culture, one person at a time,” she said.
Fogarty agreed that the week was a success.
“It’s these intricate issues within the pro-life mindset that have really drawn students into the club this year,” she said.
The article incorrectly referred to the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture as the DeNicola Center for Ethics and Culture. The Observer regrets this error.