In honor of national Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, 15 students from Boston University’s newly renamed Students for Life group silently protested against abortion in front of Marsh Plaza on Tuesday, said School of Education senior Annie Pierce.
School of Education senior Annie Pierce, who is also president of the group, said members Students for Life stood outside Marsh Plaza to honor the lives lost to abortion as well as to promote their new 30-page Resource Guide for Pregnant and Parenting Students, which was posted to their website on Tuesday.
“Our hope is to find common ground with others who would be willing to help support college women who don’t know that there is support, and don’t know where to look for it,” Pierce said. “We are trying so hard to connect with other people, and seek out resources and make them available and make them known as well.”
Students for Life recently changed their overall goals to try to reach out to women and to help them realize they have other choices aside from abortion, Pierce said. Additionally, they changed their name from Right to Life to Students for Life.
She said they decided to change their name to seem more peaceful around campus. In the 2013-14 academic year, she said Students for Life members want students to know they are pro-life and that they offer support to young mothers.
“There is such a stigma attached with the pro-life name that some people don’t even give us a second thought,” Pierce said. “We want to be a source of resources for them [women facing unplanned pregnancies]. And, from last year [compared] to this year, I feel like that [our services] was not known at all.”
Additionally, she said the group’s new long-term goals include installing diaper ducts and lactation rooms around campus for young mothers.
Elizabeth Cross, member of Students for Life and a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences junior, said Students for Life also changed their name so they can provide a sense of unity with their peers.
“Abortion affects our immediate student population probably the most of all the issues that Right to Life focuses on,” Cross said. “So, seeing as we changed it [the group’s name] to Students for Life, we want to raise awareness to the fact this issue affects college students and our peers directly … and we want to provide support to each other on campus as something that directly impacts us.”
Cross said more people are directly involved with Students for Life this year than last. She said she has hope that Tuesday’s protest clearly highlighted the group’s motives, as well as generated more student interest in the group itself.
“I would say as a student group, we’ve come a ways in what we have been working on,” Cross said. “The purpose of being a silent witness is to have a peaceful presence as well as a way to raise awareness … Hopefully people walking by can see there is a Students for Life group, and if they didn’t realize there was one then they can look into that further.”
Cross said she noticed many people took the time to look at the protester’s signs and inquired about the group. She said she hopes students learned something from the facts on the posters, and used it as a chance to reflect on their stance on abortion.
“I am very glad that Students for Life tries to do this every year,” Cross said. “I do continue to hope for Students for Life that the conversation on these very complex issues can stay open, and that we can continue to have this conversation with other student groups … Although we may not have completely the same [opinions], we can still find common ground in ways that we can work together to support our peers.”
Ileana Tauscher, member of BU’s Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism, said although abortion is a sensitive topic that not all members of the BU community agree on, students should always have the chance to share how they feel on a particular issue.
Tauscher, a School of Management senior, said abortion is not a topic members of CGSA have focused on in the past, but that if members expressed an active interest the issue, then CGSA officials would strongly consider taking an initiative.
“All students have a right to protest whatever they want and share their opinions and viewpoints,” Tauscher said. “And, it definitely just shows that Boston is a diverse community that has a lot of student activism.”