On Tuesday March 29 2022, Gustavus Students for Life organization and Gustavus Students for Reproductive Freedoms(SRF) held chalking days representing their opposing stances on abortion laws.
The Students for Life participated in a national Pro-life chalking day to show their support for pro-life students on campus. The President of the org, Samantha Bach, describes the orgs objectives as, “explicitly Pro-Life, and we aim to save lives by opposing abortion and supporting human rights across the board”. They work towards this goal by providing, “comprehensive pregnancy resource guide which has information on accessible housing, healthcare, and continual support for pregnant people on campus”. This event in particular was aimed to reannounce the presence of the organization post-covid and to show solidarity to other pro-life students. As a summary Bach said, “There is a reason why students here are afraid to ‘come out’ as Pro-Life. It can get hostile fast regarding abortion, which is why GSFL focuses on kindness. We know that anger doesn’t fix anything, doesn’t heal”.
Upon hearing about this event and seeing that The Newman Organization had supported the event by sending out a notice of it to all the students in their organization, Gustavus Students for Reproductive Freedoms decided to host a parallel chalking event. SRF was particularly concerned about the suggested quotes to chalk that were included in the email The Newman Organization sent out. These suggestions included;
“We are the Post-Roe Generation”
“Women don’t need abortion”
“Dear women, the Abortion Industry is lying to you…”
“If your healthcare kills, it is not healthcare.”
“Need resources for your pregnancy? StandingWithYou.org”
“Women need love, NOT abortion”
“Defund Planned Parenthood”
“Women do not need abortion to be successful”
“Save a life, end abortion”
One of the two Co-Presidents of SRF, Emily Falk, described the organization’s objective for this event as creating a fun and supportive environment for all students. They also worked to “stop the spread of misinformation” and to make a point to “keep religion out of politics”. The org worked to point out facts such as, “abortions are less than 3% of the care Planned Parenthood provides”. The org was proud of the urgency that students took in organizing this event so quickly and the high level of passion and enthusiasm that participants expressed. Looking forward SRF is working towards Sexual Assault Awareness events which for the second year in a row will include the 97% event and screaming in the woods. Falk ended with the point to remember the importance for people to have “the ability to make those choices” for themselves.
Overall both clubs got the chance to express their opposing opinions and despite some issues both organizations described the event as supportive and successful.