SFLA Fellow Hosts a Speaker Series about Abortion

Mary Briganti - 09 Jun 2020


Guest post by Elena Liguori, University of Pittsburgh

As a Wilberforce Fellow, my goal this year was to hone my leadership abilities, gain more experience in the pro-life movement, and work with one of the top pro-life organizations in the country.

My Wilberforce project shows I accomplished exactly that.


My project was a speaker series aimed to discuss the impact of abortion from physiological, psychological, and ideological approaches followed by a Q&A session. We hosted a renowned local doctor to talk from a medical perspective on the physical and psychological effects of abortion. These real and painful effects of abortion are often ignored as women are pushed to shout their abortions as empowerment and therefore are not allowed to acknowledge the suffering and loss they experience. Abortion procedures, the history of abortifacient devices, suicide statistics, and untimely deaths were all discussed from a medical perspective.

At our secular university with such a heavy STEM focus and medical prestige, this talk was found to be especially insightful for medical, pre-med, nursing, and other health-focused students as this information is never discussed in the curriculum.

We also hosted a speaker from Feminists for Life of America to come and speak about how abortion is, in fact, anti-feminist and anti-woman. This was especially relevant as most modern notions of feminism tend to be heavily pro-choice.  Our speaker provided factual historical information on the intersection of the feminist and pro-life movements and ideologies. For this event we had broad community engagement and an in-depth discussion afterward discussing both ideologies and the intrinsic overlap of the two.

This SFLA fellowship also allowed me to meet other student leaders and bring what I learned back to my university to bring our group to the next level.

The other fellows were a huge part of making the Wilberforce Fellowship so impactful. Having friends all across the country to offer encouragement, share ideas, and problem-solve with was so beneficial. We were all rooting for each other throughout the year, cheering on successes and encouraging through difficulties. These fellows will be doing amazing things, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for each of them!

While I know I’ll be working in the pro-life movement sometime in my future, in the next year I plan to volunteer with our local pregnancy resource center as I begin my new job. I am hoping to be trained to help with consultations and event planning. I also plan to do sidewalk counseling.


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