By Norvillia Etienne, president of Queens College Students for Life, who only recently became a club because of a demand letter sent to the school after they denied the group their rightful place as a student club.
Queens College Students for Life made our campus wide debut this week with a Cemetery of the Innocents display. We placed about 300 miniature gravestones on our campus Quad to commemorate the 3,000 preborn children who lose their lives through abortion every day in the United States and the more-than 3,000 hearts that break because of it.
We aren’t exactly in a conservative beacon of the country so we knew the day was sure to bring tension and we anticipated the worst of it with prayer as our weapon on the battleground. We encountered angry pro-choicers who wondered how on earth we got permission to put such a display on campus (we did!). We also had the opportunity to chase a fellow student who was attempting to run away with the signs that explained our display.
Other than the anticipated troubles we encountered, people who were very interested in our club and the message of hope we were propagating on campus.
I had the opportunity to converse peacefully with people who were pro-choice and present the case for life. Three of those people are now on our group’s email list. We were also able to attract people who held our views and wanted to become active members of the pro-life group.
The first day was a success. We reached more than 250 people with the peaceful display and got the conversation about abortion on campus rolling. We did what we wanted to do, which was to educated our college community on the silent atrocity that is abortion.
The next day we were met with a counter-display run by some students in the Masters of Arts program. They placed hangers on a clothes line labeled “never again” and a sign that read, “this should never be a surgical device, keep abortion safe and legal. I am pro-choice.”
Statistics for coat hanger abortions are scarce but more importantly, both women and men hurt from legal abortions too. In the woman’s case, she could have substantial physical, psychological and emotional damage coupled with that abortion. Something many pro-choicers fail recognize the destructive aftermath of that choice.
I had the opportunity to make our point clear with the organizers of that display and they seemed to understand that we cared about women and their children, that our goal was to offer them hope and not “oppression.”
Although I don’t agree with the opposition’s views, I appreciated our conversations and if anything, they saw that we cared about women as well.
These conversations are the reason we are going through this lawsuit (while the school did recognize my club, the lawsuit continues in hopes to make substantial changes to current policy), to make Queens College what it should be: a marketplace of ideas and open discussion.
I appreciated our ability to set up our Cemetery of the Innocents Display, our ability to reach our fellow students with this important life affirming message, and our ability change hearts and save lives freely on our college campus.
This freedom was made possible by Students for Life of America and Alliance Defending Freedom, who have been significant forces behind my lawsuit.
At the very least, I appreciated the fact that this event and our presence on campus has people talking about abortion, the greatest evil of our age.