An array of small pink crosses that covered the lawn outside the library were sure to grab attention from across campus, and that is just what the Planned Parenthood Project was intended to do.
Last Tuesday the Planned Parenthood Project was brought to Whitworth by the Student Pro-Life club. Bright pink banners were set up along the sidewalk, each one showing statistics from Planned Parenthood’s 2011 annual report. The 915 crosses were a visual display representative of the 915 abortions that happen everyday at Planned Parenthood, according to the 2011 annual report.
“I didn’t know what to think, it was all very shocking,” freshman Andrew Goodwin said. “I didn’t see an announcement about it so I was very surprised.”
Northwest Regional Coordinator, Lisa Atkins, is based out of Seattle and travels throughout Wash., Idaho, Ore., Mont. and Ark. to train and equip pro-life student groups throughout the Region. Lisa is currently on tour with the Planned Parenthood Project display. Students For Life of America has also created the “We Care” Tour, which addresses the question of rape, and the “What Has Roe Done For Us” Tour, which encourages discussion of the Roe v. Wade decision. “
“We are here to encourage dialogue about who Planned Parenthood is as a business, and that their agenda is abortion,” Atkins said
Whitworth’s own Pro-Life club was started two years ago by alumni Louisa Wilkinson and since then has had three different club presidents. Junior Michael Dumais is the Current Club President of Whitworth Students for Life.
Dumais has been directly involved in the pro-life movement since a young age along with his family. He points out that his beliefs have not changed since then, but have rather been refined, he said
“Our club is centered around raising awareness and making colleges more life-centered,” Dumais said. “We want people to talk about the issue and talk about it in an intellectual manner, whether pro-life or not.”
Students for Life of America is not religiously affiliated because it is a secular organization. The pro-life movement has supporters from a wide range of belief systems and is not necessarily Christian-affiliated.
“This is a human rights issue, not a religious or political issue,” Atkins said.
“Overall the Planned Parenthood Project went well and started many conversations,” Dumais said. “I had a conversation with two people who were very pro-choice and that was very rewarding. People were very respectful.”
As of now, the Whitworth Students for life club is trying to provide more resources for women and make Whitworth a more “mother friendly” campus, Dumais said. There have been posters advertising “ichoice,” which is a clinical resource for women, and they are also hoping to have baby changing stations in all restrooms on campus.
“We want to open conversation and we think that if we’re silent on this issue, we’re not helping anybody,” Dumais said. “Overall, this was a very positive experience.”