Catholic Students Protest Abortions

A procession of 40 Catholic students traveled from the Newman Center to the Union’s free-speech area Sunday night holding candles, wooden crosses and signs proclaiming October “Respect Life Month.”

The students, led by Father Rob Reyes, placed 3,200 crosses into the earth, each one representing 32 abortions that take place in the United States every month.

“As a Catholic, I believe in the right to life and for me abortion is fundamentally wrong,” said Brian Stanga, a fourth year medical student who participated in the Newman Center’s second annual anti-abortion demonstration.

“I am going into pediatrics so this kind of hits home for me,” he said.

According to the National Center of Chronic Disease Prevention, in one month more than 98,000 abortions take place in the United States.

Reyes, in his first year as the campus Catholic minister, said he has never participated in such a demonstration.

“It just makes you get so affected by the [magnitude] of the whole thing,” he said. “It shows you the value of life that is lost because of the things that we do.”

Peer Minister Sara Sanchez helped plan the event. She said the Newman Center wants to make the anti-abortion demonstration an annual event to educate the campus about sexual-reproduction issues.

“This is an issue that is in our society that we need to be aware of,” Sanchez said. “We hope this really helps people form an educated opinion.”

The demonstrators will pass out information about abortion and the Catholic Church’s stance on the issue throughout Monday and Tuesday near the free-speech area.

Last year the thousands of wooden crosses sparked counter-demonstrations.

An anonymous group displayed red bent coat hangers next to a sign that read “200 women die each day from unsafe abortions” one week after the Newman Center’s demonstration.

Gina Robertson, a peer minister, participated last year.

“Our goal in doing this is not to change their mind but to educate students about the significant number of abortions in the country. People who do counter demonstrations probably want to do the same thing,” she said. “When people counter demonstrate it shows that the public is more aware of the issue?that is good.”

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