For Gregory Lobo, a sophomore history major, the pro-life movement is personal. Lobo was born with spina bifida, a neurological condition. While his mom was pregnant with him, scans revealed that Lobo had a hole in his back, indicative of the disorder. When his parents went back for the next test, the radiologist said to them, “We already diagnosed this. Why haven’t you taken care of it?” Because other options for fetal treatment were in their infancy, “the implication was clear,” Lobo said. He went on to say that this experience, coupled with reports he read about disability-selective abortion, ignited his belief that there is an “existential threat” facing those with disabilities and other lives as well. During the last semester of his freshman year, he joined Pirates for Life with the encouragement of his friend and club co-President Benjamin Jaros. According to the Pirates for Life mission statement, its members aim to foster “culture of life” by recognizing that “the life and dignity of the human person has infinite value and cannot be reduced to a choice, a lay-off, or a member of the elderly.” [caption id="attachment_23115" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Photo courtesy of Benjamin Jaros[/caption] Each club member seemed to have a different way of sharing this mission with others. Lobo, the club’s historian elect, recalled an idea that came to fruition a few weeks ago when he decided to honor Pro-Life Walkout Day on April 11. Lobo decided to sit on the seal and wait for students to approach him. He said he knew this move would garner some attention, as students would wonder what this “crazy guy” was doing on the seal. He then used that opportunity to explain the pro-life movement and its history. Lobo estimated that he talked to 10 people that day and counted it as a success because that message may have reached beyond those he spoke with. Though this was not a club-sponsored event, Lobo said he had both help and backing through Jaros and fellow club member Lauren Machalany. He said that one of the major appeals of the club is the bond he has formed with members, as they have become a type of support system. “Yes, I am passionate about the movement, but they bring me back,” he said. “I just like spending time with the people in the club.” Jaros, a sophomore economics major, said that one of his favorite memories with the club was when the students traveled to D.C. for the National Conference for Life. Once there, they met and spoke with N.J. Congressman Leonard Lance and attended a rally for life hosted by Cardinal Wuerl. “The trip was truly a blessing and I know it helped entrench our club’s commitment to fostering a culture of life here at Seton Hall,” Jaros said. Jaros explained that he understood the club’s goal is often the subject of heated debate. “These issues cannot be merely reduced to talking points,” he wrote in an email interview. Therefore, we welcome dialogue on the issue.” Julie Devoti, a sophomore public relations major and Pirate’s for Life co-president, said that all students, regardless of belief systems, are welcome to join. “It’s open to anyone and we encourage our members to speak up about what they think,” she said. Students interested in joining Pirates for Life are encouraged to email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org. Julie Trien can be reached at email@example.com.
Pirates For Life speak out for their beliefs