By SUSANNAH TOMBES
It has been said that the only people who are pro-life are old, white men. This is simply just not the case. While it is true that there are many older men in Congress who say that they are pro-life, I have seen an increase in millennials switching their views on abortion and embracing the pro-life stance.
I was raised in a Catholic home that held the traditional values of the Church closely and I also saw these views lived out. When I was younger, the tragedy of abortion did not affect me as greatly as it does now, mostly because there was not much for a seven-year-old to really do about the injustice. Now, I am the President of the Students for Life Club here at UMW and I have a great zeal in defending the dignity and gift of each human life.
Although many religious-minded people are pro-life, the views on this are changing as well. Rachel Hodges, a freshman here at UMW is both an atheist and pro-life. She says, “As a society, we have forgotten how precious life is. Millennials take for granted everything they are given, even the miracle of a child.”
I have seen a change in the pro-life movement, growing from primarily faith-based organizations to broader spectrums. Non-profits such as Feminists for Life and Secular Pro-Life have gained a growing number of followers and supporters. I believe that this is because millennials are beginning to see how valuable life is and how the abortion issue is not a political issue, but instead a human rights one.
Stephen Lamm, Secretary of UMW’s College Republicans believes, “More young people are becoming pro-life because of what we have seen at Planned Parenthood and how they reportedly sell baby/fetus parts for money.
Now that is just unethical, and our generation is fed up with corruption and politicians and groups that only care about money.” Lamm shares that he is a centrist Republican, meaning that he, “takes views from all parts of the political spectrum” and that there have been special cases where understands the pro-choice point of view, but he is more geared to the pro-life argument.
However, the pro-life viewpoint does have flaws, and I say that as someone who has been pro-life for the entirety of her life. It is easy to fall into the category of pro-birth and completely forget about the stages of life after birth. An easy one to dismiss is that of refugees. Emily James, a junior in the Education program, shares that her father is an immigrant and has been a reason she has such a drive to support immigrants, refugees and their families.
Personally, I have never really known any concrete ways of helping these people, but Emily provided some simple ways to start. “Listening. Working with them, talking to them. Volunteer at adult career centers to teach English, and you might end up learning their language too.” We also talked about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think that goes with caring for the dignity of every human life, no matter the stage.
I do not think for a second that you can claim to be pro-life, while refusing to support the mother who has chosen life for her child and is in need of emotional and financial support. I do not think that you can claim to be pro-life without showing support to the immigrants and refugees who need to know that their lives matter just as much as my family’s lives matter.