Xavier must be unapologetically pro-life and must do better to support pro-life students who are under attack on Xavier’s campus.
On Jan. 29, 2019, Father Michael Graham published a letter to the Xavier community addressing vandalism against a Xavier Students for Life display, where he wrote: “Xavier University, as a Jesuit Catholic Institution is and must be squarely on the pro-life side of this debate.”
Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says
“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (No. 2271).
Xavier must care equally for the unborn and born, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender, as one’s worth as a person is not determined by their age or stage of development, inside or outside of the womb. They must protect the lives of every human from conception until natural death. They must be understanding of mothers and families who feel highly conflicted on whether or not to have an abortion, regardless of the reasons why they may be considering it. And they must not condemn or hate any woman who has chosen to have an abortion. The university must strive to love everyone equally.
Xavier’s Students for Life club aims to achieve the pro-life mission described above through service work, dialogue and informative displays and speakers. We believe that an essential aspect of being pro-life is helping and caring for people of all ages.
Our group volunteers at and donates to Baby Bear, a nonprofit Norwood-based organization that provides free diapers, children’s clothing, bottles, infant formula, toys, strollers and other children’s items for Norwood families in need.
Organizations like Baby Bear play a vital role in the pro-life movement, as they support the families having children. These organizations can reduce feelings and the actuality of being unable to care for a child. We believe that if we are going to advocate against abortion we must help the families who feel as though it is their only choice.
Xavier Students for Life tries to uphold the values of this university, but have been continuously met with intimidation, bullying and stereotyping. The club is composed of students with different ethnic and racial backgrounds, genders and political affiliations. Pro-life beliefs spans across the political aisle and is held by a diverse group of people; however, members of our club are told that this belief is only for White, conservative males. This is extremely hurtful and frustrating, considering that over half of our members are females.
The majority of our members also feel like they are unable to voice their views publicly on campus, for fear of retaliation by fellow students and faculty members. Members have shared personal stories about their grades being negatively impacted by their beliefs, as well as generally feeling afraid to wear pro-life apparel or share their views for fear of being personally ridiculed and insulted, as has occurred so many times before.
A member of our group shared that they once submitted a rough draft of a paper where they argued in favor of being pro-life. The individual received a 45%, and when they met with the professor, they were made to feel like the only way they would get a higher score was to sacrifice their views and write in favor of being pro-choice. The individual made this change and received a 100% on the paper. The club has had displays and signs vandalized in 2018, 2019 and 2021 as well.
Our members feel as though their voice is being wrongfully suppressed and are disappointed that they feel this way at a Catholic university. They are also upset that these acts of bullying and vandalism continue to occur year after year. The university must do better to support their pro-life students and put an end to the harassment.
In response to the continuous vandalism of Students for Life displays and bullying for holding pro-life views, the club is working closely with the Bias Advisory Response Team and plans to work with high-ranking campus officials. Together we hope to ensure freedom of speech on campus and promote the upholding of Catholic, pro-life values by the university. In alignment with their ruling on our previous vandalism, BART ruled that the club’s recent vandalism was not a bias incident; however, we are in discussion with them over the ruling, as we believe that the incident was gender- and age-based.
Xavier Students for Life
Categories: Opinions & Editorials