Pro-life Chalk Day creatively promotes a culture of life

March 5th is National Pro-Life Chalk Day, where student groups from college campuses across the U.S. gather to share the right to life message. Here at ASU, the Students for Life club drew out the message with both slogans and artwork across Cady Mall. From Hayden Library to the Social Sciences Building, extensive sketches, quotes and pro-life rhetoric can be seen across the sidewalks.

With abortion being so controversial, it can be difficult to have valuable dialogue about the issue. Pro-life Chalk Day is an excellent approach to opening up the conversation about abortion in a gentle way. Students are able to witness a narrative seldom seen on college campuses.

Maggie Otlewski, president of ASU Students for Life, firmly believes in compassionate methods of pro-life outreach and participates in the event every year. “It’s a creative way for students to share the pro-life message. Our purpose is twofold. We are aiming for both education and activism," she said. "Tonight we’re creating a fetal development timeline to educate students on the science of embryology. Our other aim is to share resources with students who may be facing an unplanned pregnancy or who are parenting and may be looking for resources available to them on campus.”

Otlewski and other members of the club gathered last night, before Chalk Day, in order to avoid the Hayden Lawn traffic. Today their works of art are in eyesight of all the individuals walking to classes and the MU. “We are so excited to share the message that life is beautiful with the thousands of students on the Tempe campus,” Otlewski said.

It takes courage to speak out about a hot-button issue, and members of Students for Life are no strangers to the inevitable backlash that comes with controversial activism. Last year their chalk art was vandalized. Water was poured on their display and the pregnancy resource numbers they provided for students were smudged to the point of being illegible.

During a briefing before the club began drawing their images and slogans, Otlewski encouraged members not to engage with hecklers or worry about them defacing the club’s art work. “If they smudge your work, that means they saw it,” she pointed out. Club members were also advised to not take comments personally, as this issue is submersed in strong emotion.

In spite of the adverse reactions, Students for Life continues to persevere in the cause for human rights for all. Their motto is to lead the ASU pro-life community through thick and thin, and they stick to that pledge. I’m proud to have this organization on our campus.

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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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