Pro-life program sparks controversey
A residence hall event honoring the lives of unborn children held in Serra Hall on Jan. 31 has sparked controversy.
Megan Jones, resident assistant on the second floor of Serra Hall, titled the event “Happy Birthday… Make A Wish.” During the event, the 11 participants created birthday cards for unborn children, discussed spiritual adoption, viewed videos from the perspective of an aborted fetus and listened to a rap song of a father regretting his significant other’s abortion.
The bulletin board, decorated with the handmade cards, reads “Happy birthday, whoever you would have been,” a statement based on the lyrics of the rap song Jones played.
“The first (video) was a chronological journey of a baby from conception to abortion,” Jones said. “It was recorded from the point of view of the child. The baby talks to his Mommy along the pregnancy and when Mommy goes to the doctor to inquire about abortion, the baby expresses his fear of the abortion. Most of my audience cried during this.”
“Make a Wish” was geared toward the Catholic character goal of the residence hall programming model, according to Jones.
“It was created because of my passion for new life,” Jones said. “As a nursing major, I believe that there is nothing more precious in the world than the conception of a child.”
Jones said she chose to begin the program in January because January is March for Life Month.
According to Tara Hart, director of Housing and Residence Life, Megan’s proposal included her intention that the program would not be geared to the political aspects of the debate surrounding abortion but that “the participants will feel a strong sense of compassion for all the children that could not be born into the world for one reason or another.”
“One of our desired outcomes for the programming which RAs conduct in the halls, is to have students engage in reflection on issues of social justice,” Hart added.
Participants learned about the growth and development of a baby in utero, according to both Jones and Hart.
According to two students, the program could potentially be inappropriate to others.
“Making birthday cards to unborn children is weird,” said senior Carolyn Taggart. “I believe that a woman should have a choice, but I know the school doesn’t believe that. I would definitely not attend it, and I can’t imagine people who would go except for people who feel strongly against abortion,” Taggart added.
According to Jones, the program was a success without “name calling or judgmental stares.”
Junior Maria Shell said, “I think it’s completely inappropriate to offer priority points for this activity that some may not agree with, it just blows my mind.”
The program was a “very good” representation of the Catholic Character and the University, the Rev. Stanley Gomes said.
“It is a matter of absolute truth that life is precious, any life, and particularly human life: yours, mine and others,” Gomes said.
According to Gomes, spiritual adoption is where a child in utero is named and prayed for by a volunteer when the mother is contemplating having an abortion.
“I explained to my participants that although I assume a pro-life stance on abortion, I was not interested in making the program a condemnation of people who have accepted the pro-choice stance,” Jones said. “More often than not, we make abortion about us, and it isn’t about us.”
According to Hart, the 11 attendants indicated in a survey that the program enhanced their knowledge of social issues.
Charlotte Lewis can be reached at email@example.com.