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Belles for Life celebrates Respect Life Month

| Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Saint Mary’s Belles for Life is holding several events throughout the week to celebrate Respect Life Month, which began Sunday.

This year’s theme, “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” was inspired by Dr. Seuss’s “Horton Hears a Who!” said Kathryn Schneider, a Belles for Life member.

Samantha Gebert | The Observer
Belles for Life’s Cemetery of Innocence display on Marina Island in front of Haggar College Center.

To start off the week, the club asked students to show their support by wearing blue, pink or their favorite anti-abortion merchandise to class Monday. 

Tuesday, club members invited students to visit the “Cemetery of Innocents” display, which represents the millions of unborn children lost to abortion. The display is located on Marion Island at the center of Lake Marion in front of Haggar College Center. 

The club will host a table Wednesday morning in the Saint Mary’s Student Center with a banner reading, “When do you think human rights begin?” At the table, students will be able to cast a vote answering the question and discuss their response. 

Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Monique Chireau Wubbenhort, a senior research associate from the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at Notre Dame, will speak in the Stapleton Lounge about the roles women have played in the anti-abortion movement. 

Finishing up the events of the week, a Students for Life Action Political Leadership workshop will be held all day Saturday in Regina Hall. The workshop will cover the nature of politics, leadership, student government, lobbying and elections. 

At yesterday’s Cemetery of Innocents display, 400 pink crosses were on display, each one representing 157,000 lives. Elle Houin, a member of the club and junior at Saint Mary’s, said the crosses are a powerful symbol for the club to commemorate those who have been aborted.

“It means a lot to me. I think it has a really great impact on those who see it. I feel like many people don’t think about the amount of lives that are taken by abortion,” she said.

Along with the crosses, signs were posted reading, “Each cross represents 157,000 pre-born lives lost,” and “150,000 lives, 400 crosses, 63 million souls.” 

Club member Alessandra Besachio said the crosses offer a reminder for those who walk by.

“I think it’s a lot easier for people to confront their beliefs when they are physically surrounded by a reminder,” Besachio said. 

Besachio said the display is also a powerful reminder for her.

“This display means a lot to me. It’s such a physical reminder for us regarding the sanctity of life and that these are real people that struggled,” she said. “I think it’s really easy for us in our modern day to read stuff, to see it on Instagram to hear stories about it, but it’s a lot different when you’re standing by a display that shows all these crosses.” 

Some members of the club said they feel the club has a bad reputation.

“We’re all about supporting women. And I think a lot of people just kind of label us as evil and not supporting women. That’s just not true,” Houin said.

Schneider said she feels the club empowers women. 

“Saying that women need abortions is like saying that they can’t be mothers and have a career,” she said. “We are pro-women because we want them to be able to do both. We don’t think that they should sacrifice the life of their child too.”

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