Students for Life Demonstration Sparks Debate at Clark

Students walking by Hanna Hall the week of April 17-25 were met with an unusual sight. The typically empty lawn next to the food carts and across from the blooming flower bed was an arrangement of hot pink crosses sticking out of the grass.

The Students for Life Club displayed 50 crosses on April 17, representing the average number of abortions a day in the state of Washington. Each day they added 50 more crosses, finishing the demonstration with 350—the amount of abortions performed weekly in Washington, according to John Guiher, the club president.

While the crosses were up, members of the Students for Life Club lingered in the area to discuss abortion with those who stopped by. Guiher said the demonstration was “extremely effective and opened public forum and discussion about abortion-related topics.”

Guiher said that the goal for the project was beginning public discussion about the results of abortion.

“Obviously it does kill a human life and we want to give women all the resources they need so they don’t have to go through the traumatic experience of having an abortion,” Guiher said.

Cheyanne Holliday, Model UN a delegate and founder and president of Clark’s new Women in Politics club, said a woman’s abortion experience is often traumatic because of the pro-life movement.

“The people getting abortions aren’t just sleeping around, being unsafe and getting  eight abortions in a row. Most of the time it’s people with a dead fetus in their bodies and they have to give birth to it and then bury it. It’s really insensitive to everyone involved. They’re not protecting a life, they’re protecting nothing,” Holliday said.

Guiher said that most of the response has been positive and other than a student pulling some of the crosses out of the lawn, there hasn’t been much push-back. He said they’ve reached out to many people including post-abortive people, who were provided with resources.

“We’ve got ideas for how we can help pregnant women on campus better,” Guiher said. “We’re trying to get resources into our local community and on campus so that every woman can feel that they have the choice to carry their baby to full term and also go to school.”

Holliday said that there are many people out there who are ill-prepared to be parents, but who are parents anyway because of opposition to getting an abortion.

“Once a life is born, in general, the pro-life movement doesn’t care what happens after it’s born. There are thousands of kids in the foster system.”

In response to the Students for Life Club’s demonstration, Holliday said she has planned a counter-protest. “We’re going to have papers describing what abortion actually is rather than what the pro-life movement makes it out to be. We’re going to be showing how many women have died because of unsafe abortions and that abortions will not stop. “ Holliday said.

The Students for Life Club, established two years ago, has 10 to 15 active members and about 40 who attend their meetings, according to Guiher. This is the first time they’ve done a demonstration.

Holliday’s Women in Politics Club was chartered on Feb. 27 and is open to people of all genders. “I don’t like abortion but I understand it’s not my business,” Holliday said. “Pro-life isn’t actually saving any lives at all.”

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