by Katie Daniels
Pope Francis says, “No one saves oneself. The community is essential.” I wish I could tell you I read that in an encyclical, or got it from a homily he gave in St. Peter’s Square. I actually read it on his Twitter feed. Still, Pope Francis tweets the truth. Without community, we accomplish nothing.
As members of a university, whether faculty, staff, or student, we’re all well-situated to understand the truth of Pope Francis’ message. We experience the power of community daily: rallying around Pete Frates’ ice bucket challenge, rushing the field after our incredible win against USC, and volunteering weekly with 4Boston, PULSE, or St. Joseph’s Project. Especially in our volunteer work, BC is determined to leverage the strength of our community to help the marginalized one classroom, one bagged lunch, and one conversation at a time.
When it comes to unplanned pregnancy, however, the conversation often goes quiet. But being actively pro-life on campus bears witness to the importance of community as well. We don’t want to settle for a community that tells us to help the marginalized—and then lets the most vulnerable among us slip through the cracks. We reject the language of choice, which implicitly leaves women to bear the challenge of an unplanned pregnancy on their own. We know that we’re called to offer women in need love and support, not judgment or indifference.
Although women today have more “choices” than ever, it’s often because they feel they have no¬ choice—no options for raising their baby, no realistic way to parent and go to class or work, no support from their families or the father of their child—that they think an abortion is necessary. Their choices are made for them by a culture that seems to leave women alone precisely when they most need the love and support of others. It’s not enough to have policies in place that help a woman while she’s pregnant. Once her child is born, she needs strong material and emotional support from her community more than ever.
BC’s Pro-Life Club not only educates our members about the hardships women in crisis pregnancies face, but also hopes to educate the greater BC community. We’re working to publicize available pregnancy resources on campus in brochures and websites, as well as raise campus wide awareness through our annual Pro-Life Cupcake Day in October and Celebrate Life Week in April. We also advocate for the repeal of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court Case that legalized abortion on demand, by joining thousands of other pro-lifers in Washington, D.C. this January for the powerful March for Life past the Supreme Court.
We want to respond to unplanned pregnancies without judgment. However to respond without judgment means to respond actively with love, not to passively declare it to be a woman’s choice. By advocating for greater resources for pregnant and parenting students, by educating our campus about the injustice of abortion, and by witnessing to the joy found in embracing life in all stages, the BC Pro-Life Club is taking up Pope Francis’ challenge to create a more inclusive and compassionate community, one that welcomes and supports all, especially the most vulnerable.