Over the weekend, several WMU students participated in the annual March For Life in Washington D.C. This march aims to call attention to the subject of abortion. People of all walks of life are fighting to reverse the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade which said laws preventing a woman from getting an abortion were unconstitutional. 

Abortions are a very common and simple procedure in the United States. According to the Planned Parenthood website, one in four women will get an abortion by the time they’re 25. In Kalamazoo alone, 604 abortions were conducted in 2017. In Michigan, over 25,000 abortions were done, also in 2017, but that doesn’t mean the process isn’t controversial. 

Students from the RSO Protect Life, do what they can to help pregnant students find an alternative to abortion by getting them the resources they need to care for their unborn child or provide information on adoption agencies that can help them make sure their child is given a home. The organization seeks to “promote a culture of life,” according to the RSO’s president, Kaylee Tegethoff. 

“I want to encourage people to think of the baby’s life,” said Tegethoff. 

Many arguments stem from the rocky road that is determining when a baby is a baby. The heart of an unborn fetus begins to beat between three or four weeks after fertilization; however, others don’t consider a fetus of three to four weeks to be anything more than a clump of cells. Whatever your belief, I believe that there is a lot of unnecessary hostility between the groups. From what I’ve seen, there is actually much in common with these groups. 

“This is pro-woman,” Tegethoff said. “You can be pro-life and pro-women.” 

Some people disagree with this sentiment like perspective culinary arts major Christopher Rohn. 

“To any opponent of abortion,” Rohn said, “I would ask what the justification is for stripping women’s rights away for the protection of a clump of stem cells and tissue… I believe every human has a right to live their life in a happy and safe way and part of that is having the right to choose when they want to have kids.” 

Sophomore sociology major Meg Gust, a member of Protect Life here at Western said she believes all people deserve a chance at life, including the unborn child. When it comes to talking to people about this topic, she does so in a curious and non-confrontational manner. 

“I’m very open to hearing other opinions,” Gust said. “My goal isn’t to change people’s opinions, but to share why I have mine.” 

People like Gust just want to be understood and have their voices heard, which is why every year around Jan. 17, 18, and 19, people from across the country gather together to make sure their voices and the voices of the lives they seek to protect are heard.

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