Hundreds of students from across the country streamed through the font doors of Healy Hall as Georgetown hosted the nation’s largest student run pro-life conference.
This 19th annual O’Connor conference follows world’s largest pro-life demonstration as hundreds of thousands marched in the 45th annual March for Life on Friday, an act of protest that has occurred since the passing of Roe v Wade in 1973, legalizing abortion.
The conference this year focused on the intersect of the pro-life movement in religious communities and in secular ones titled “(Ir)religiously Prolife, the future of the movement in the secular world.” Speakers, including Keynote Speaker Lilla Rose, founder of Live Action and known for her undercover work with Planned Parenthood, emphasized the value in secular and religious organizations working together towards their shared interests.
Georgetown Right to Life (RTL) president Havens Clark also spoke on the future on the movement in regards to the current generation.
“Young people could not be more important in shaping the future of the pro-life movement. We’re the ones who will be shaping the laws and legislation in this country in the future; we’re the ones who will be promoting a pro-life culture in our communities after college; we’re the ones who, above all, have recognized the injustice of abortion in our country today and have resolved to see an end to this injustice.”
Michael Khan, one of the director of the conferences was also very happy with not only the conference overall but to see so many young people involved in it.
“I think the Conference went spectacularly well. We feel this year’s Conference spoke directly to the millennial generation, and, in my view, the passion for life we saw displayed at the Conference among the many speakers and attendees speaks to the vibrancy of the pro-life movement in America today, which is stronger than ever.”
However not not everyone shared in his feelings towards the pro life events that occurred this weekend. Before the conference even began, Hoya’s for choice(HFC) protesters lined the steps leading into registration, waving signs as pro-life students flooded into Healy Hall.
Havens Clark, president of GU Right to Life, expressed her sadness in the actions of the protesters.
“As we recognize that some members of our campus hold strong opinions on the issues discussed at our conference, we reserve Copley Lawn for peaceful protest. However, much like last year, this year protesters instead stood on either side of the main entrance into Healy … yelling a number of untrue, unkind, and even callous diatribes at attendees entering the Conference.”
Clark also stated her desire for the differences in opinion between the two groups to be met with dialogue.
“Every year, I hope against hope that pro-choice members of the Georgetown community will accept our invitation to engage with us in dialogue.”
This is not the first instance of a tension between the two groups or the refusal of dialogue occuring. Early this year, HFC published a letter “explaining HFC’s commitment to resisting the racist, sexist, classist, homophobic and transphobic actions of the anti-choice movement.”