Pro-Life Students Lead Shift
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 17:02
While the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that has allowed for the abortion of 50 million American children passed two weeks ago, the week was also marked by the 14th annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life. The Cardinal O’Connor Conference, the nation’s largest student-run, pro-life conference and named after Georgetown alumnus and pro-life warrior John Cardinal O’Connor, is important because it directly addressed the concerns brought up by Haylie Jacobson’s viewpoint “Pro-Choice Broader than Abortion Issue” (THE HOYA, A3, Feb. 5, 2013). In fact, if Jacobson and those with similar beliefs had attended the conference, they would most certainly be better informed on the issues they claim to champion.
As represented in the conference, the pro-life movement has moved far beyond the abortion issue as it follows the calls of Cardinal O’Connor to build “a culture of life,” one which recognizes his ecclesiastical motto that “there can be no love without justice.” Speakers at the Cardinal O’Connor Conference continue to share their expertise in a number of fields and life issues, such as abortion, bioethics, reproductive health, the rights of the disabled, adoption and the death penalty. The conference reaffirms that being pro-life is the proper understanding of “care for the whole person” and goes one step further to care for all persons. That is why — led by our generation — the pro-life movement is winning. We seek justice for all individuals, especially the most defenseless and innocent in our society: the child in the womb.
On the other hand, the pro-“choice” movement is indeed radicalizing as Jacobson feared, precisely because it cannot reasonably oppose the culture of life in the same way it can legally oppose laws on abortion. Instead of being actually concerned about pregnant women and their children, a fair critique about some elements of the pro-life movement, the pro-choicers have entirely abandoned any pretext of caring about the person. As reflected by Jacobson’s viewpoint, they put the idea of completely unrestrained choice above the person themselves.
As keynote speaker Helen Alvaré detailed in her impassioned appeal to the over 650 students and adults, it is time that we finally suspend our disbelief that the promises of the pro-choice movement have simply not been met, and have done more harm than good. Fifty million of our potential peers, brothers, sisters, friends and spouses were killed in the womb. As the pro-choice movement retreats to radical ideology, the pro-life movement continues to build a true culture of life and respect for the dignity of all people, from conception to natural death.
Students at Georgetown have been — and continue to be — leaders in this shift from just a concern about the Roe v. Wade decision to a concern about the “whole person.” The Cardinal O’Connor Conference continues to educate attendees and generate informed discussion on the sound intellectual roots of the pro-life movement. Georgetown alumni founded the Northwest Crisis Pregnancy, Washington’s largest crisis-pregnancy center that has served over 46,000 women and children. Georgetown University Right to Life continues to host service projects like babysitting and collecting diapers for young mothers at Georgetown who balance work and class. Jacobson’s article is certainly right that the pro-choice movement is losing conviction because it focuses on a radical, impersonal idea. In the meantime, I am proud to see my university community leading the incredible pro-life shift in our generation and truly living out the Jesuit values of our alma mater.
Kevin Sullivan is a junior in the School of Foreign Service.