“Respect Life Month” raises awareness on campus

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Aimed at educating the community about the dignity of all human life, the student organization Students for Life celebrated their Respect Life Month in October throughout Saint Louis University’s campus.

According to Students for Life President Jessica Stukel, the goal of Students for Life is to spread the culture of life on campus as a whole and to show the University what the organization believes in. While Stukel said that the organization supports and respects life of human beings of any age, Students for Life places an emphasis on the unborn.

“We respect life from conception to natural death,” Stukel said. “We do focus on the unborn since they have no voice, and we say that we are the voice of the voiceless.”

Respect Life Month officially began on Oct. 2 with a mass at St. Xavier College Church and continued on Oct. 4 with a prayer service in the quad.

Students for Life welcomed Vicki Banks, a recruiting coordinator from “All Girls Allowed,” on Oct. 5 to speak about the one-child policy in China. “All Girls Allowed” is a national organization committed to “restore life, value, and dignity to girls and mothers, and to reveal the injustice of China’s One-Child Policy.” China’s one-child policy is a government policy that restricts the number of children that certain families can have to one. Stukel said that Banks highlighted issues that both pro-choice and pro-life supporters can agree on.

“There’s so much going on in China. Students may have heard of the one-child policy, but I personally didn’t know the magnitude of what was going on,” Stukel said.

From Oct. 4 to Oct. 16, Students for Life placed crosses in the quad to represent the number of abortions performed in the countries with the top-five highest abortion rates.  The collection of crosses was titled “The Cemetery of the Innocents.” According to Students for Life External Vice President Kaitlin McManus, 711 crosses were placed in the quad, representing 7,215,400 abortions in total. The U.S. was represented by 155 crosses, trailing only China and Russia.

Students for Life also held an event to honor their supporters and benefactors, especially those who support Pregnant and Parent Teen Student Assistance. According to Stukel, PPTSA is a group run by students and faculty who are committed to supporting student parents and pregnant students.

“The whole mission is that no student should have to choose between a child and their education,” Stukel said.

Respect Life Month concludes with a service day at Make a Difference Day on Oct. 28. According to Stukel, the service day has always been an integral component of Respect Life Month.

“We’re learning about things throughout the week in class, and it is a chance for us to go out and do something in the community,” Stukel said.