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Pro-Life Club President Addresses Faculty, Parents, and Students

The following address was given during parents weekend on October 16, 2011.

Good afternoon! I was asked to talk to you about Spes Vitae, which is the pro-life club at the College of Saint Mary Magdalen. Spes Vitae has been, I think, a very good example of how students may and do use their freedom and resources to serve the Church and renew our nation.  This club is just a particular example of how students in the last couple of years have taken leadership and found a way to put our faith and call to discipleship into practice, so that we may “go out and renew the face of the earth,” as the good Dr. Discher reminds us.

About 23 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion in the US. In 2005 (the most recent year for which data is available), there were 1.21 million abortions performed compared to 4.14 million live births; that amounts to 3,315 abortions per day, and 2 babies who die per minute. I’d just like to ask you to pause and think about that: 2 totally innocent lives lost in one minute. This information is collected from the Guttmacher Institute, which is the research arm of Planned Parenthood, and I don’t believe it takes into account the growing number of chemical abortions. As you can tell, this isn’t just a social issue, but a horrific reality, which everyone, particularly students, has to grasp and respond to. Pope John Paul II called all of us to actively build a culture of life, and that is what this club seeks to do.

So far this semester, members of the club have spent their Saturdays attending a sidewalk counseling seminar, praying in front of an abortuary, and conducting a car wash to raise funds for the March for Life trip to Washington D.C. in January. In addition to meeting a couple of times on weeknights, some of us were privileged to attend New Hampshire Right to Life’s annual banquet (where we were inspired not only by the speakers, but also the attendees as well). We also participated in the 40 Days for Life campaign in Concord.  Plans are underway to volunteer at Carenet (a nearby crisis pregnancy center), to clean and assist with one of their mailings. The club also manned the community fish fry at the College as a fundraiser. This list of activities may not seem like much, but coming from a college student, that’s probably more time devoted to a particular cause than anything else, except classes and community life obligations, and that’s significant. 

A little over a year ago, Pope Benedict XVI said during his visit to England: “No one who looks realistically at our world could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual, ignoring the profound crisis of faith which has overtaken our society. Each of us, in his or her state of life, is called to work for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each person.”

The pro-life club seeks to foster that call in us. It has definitely sparked awareness and pro-life activity, and plans on increasing these on and off campus. I would like to note, however, that students wouldn’t be able or as inclined to live this vocation without the guidance, encouragement, and funding from our school. So I would just like to end by saying thank you to the faculty and staff.

~Ava Voissem (2013)