• By Lauren Reeves

Students for Life club draws publicity around campus

Standing out as a club and getting publicity can be hard; however, the Minot Students for Life club has proven that they want to be known on campus and that they want people to be aware of their message. Junior Nolan Compere, a nursing major, and sophomore Kenzie Stiefner, a criminal justice major, founded the club after they learned several other students wanted to share their side of the conversation about abortion.

Members of Students for Life pose with signs for their club. Photo courtesy of Students for Life

“We want to raise awareness and educate on what happens in the womb. A lot of people don’t know when life begins or what happens at conception,” said Compere.

A notable display that the club set up recently was a Grave of the Innocent outside Cyril Moore Science Center. The display consisted of pink flags to represent the 862,320 that took place 2017 in the United States. That number comes from the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organization that studies reproductive health.

Compere and Stiefner explained that the Grave of the Innocent showed people how many lives are ended by abortions and how many people are affected by abortions.

“People don’t necessarily realize how many lives are actually affected by abortion, so we just wanted to bring that to life and use it as a visual to kind of represent that,” said Compere. “It also gave a visual representation for all the women that had abortions. We don’t want to call anyone out. We’re not trying to condemn anyone or what they’ve done. We do recognize that an abortion is a hard procedure. It’s definitely something that they struggle with mentally, sometimes long term. Sometimes it is only short term, but it still does cause mental psychological issues for women.”

Stiefner has done volunteer work for the Dakota Hope Clinic and has helped create an alliance between the clinic and the club in order to provide students on campus with education and resources regarding pregnancies. Stiefner said there will be some events on campus to bring pregnancy and parent classes to students for free.

Compere said he believes life begins at conception. According to Compere, pro-choice people argue that a fetus isn’t a human partially because of its size.

“What we discuss with students is size. Since when has size determined whether or not someone’s a person?” Compere said. “There’s also people that are a lot bigger or taller than me. Are they more human, more deserving of rights?”

Compere went on to talk about the level of dependency of an unborn child and compared it to the level of dependency of an infant or young child.

“They say because the fetus, embryo, or zygote is dependent upon the mother for life, that it doesn’t deserve the same rights that we do,” said Compere. “A three-month-old infant is still dependent upon the mother or father or whoever’s providing for it to keep it alive. There are all these different people that are dependent on different things for life: people that are on insulin injections because they have diabetes or people that have a pacemaker placed into them to keep the heart beating. That doesn’t mean that they’re not a person because they’re on someone else or something else for life.”

Along with dependency on the stages of life, Compere talked about the location of a living person and the development of living humans.

Personhood is not determined by location. I can be anywhere in the world, and I’m still a human being. How does moving eight inches from the womb to the world change the fact that someone deserves the right to life?” Compere said.

Another question that Compere addressed is whether the club is against women’s rights and choice with their bodies.

“I think one thing we have to say is we do care about women’s rights and women’s rights beginning in the womb,” Compere said. “We have the right to life, liberty, and property, but our right to bodily autonomy is always taken away when it affects other people. We understand pregnancy is maybe something a woman doesn’t want to do. We’re not trying to necessarily restrict you, but we’re trying to protect someone else’s life and their rights.”

For more information on the Minot Students for Life club, follow @msu_students_for_life on Instagram, and for more information on pregnancy or parenting, visit the Dakota Hope Clinic website.

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