Villanovans for Life march in peaceful protest

Megan Angelo

Fresh concerns over terrorism and nuclear warfare took a temporary backseat to a deep-rooted American controversy this week when over 100,000 people swarmed the nation’s capital to protest abortion. Thoughts of impending foreign conflict, however, were not so far from the mind of freshman Mickey Nataro as he attended the demonstration.

“As a soldier, I’m going to be swearing to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.” the ROTC student says. “I have to protect every ounce of it –and that means the rights of all unborn children.”

Nataro, secretary of Villanovans For Life, was one of the 70 Villanovans who missed classes and left campus to participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. this past Wednesday.

The pro-life campus group recruited 40 students outside their organization to attend the event with them.

Carrying banners bearing their name and shouting pro-life slogans, the students marched from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court.

It was the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade case which legalized abortion in the United States.

The group made extensive preparations for the event, covering the entire campus with flyers, sending out voicemails and e-mails to encourage students to join them and preparing banners to carry with them in the march.

Last Saturday, several members of VFL attended the American Collegians for Life Conference, which was held in Washington, D.C..

The forum offered speakers, workshops and an opportunity for pro-life students to meet and collaborate.

The efforts of the VFL, along with those of all the pro-life activists at the march, were recognized by President Bush.

He addressed the rally via telephone just after noon, declaring “that every life is valuable, that our society has a responsibility to defend the vulnerable and weak, the imperfect and even the unwanted and that our nation should set a great goal that unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law.”

The March for Life is one of the definitive events VFL participates in annually, but they remain active throughout the year. They host speakers such as Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life, who will be lecturing on campus this spring.

Foster recently ran a successful campaign for the benefits of uninsured women in need of prenatal care and labor and delivery services.

During Respect Life Week, which begins in late November, the group stages awareness activities, petitions for pro-life and organizes church services devoted to their cause. “We are also a support group for people in crisis pregnancy situations,” Nataro says.

VFL also coordinates smaller protests, though Nataro is adamant that none of these will employ violence. “The point of being pro-life is to be peaceful,” he insists. For example the group recites the Rosary outside of a local abortion clinic once a week, and bars its door once a month.

Nataro says that the pressure the VFL has put on the clinic has yielded some results, but declines to be specific. The clinic could not be reached for comment.

“Our school has a strong Catholic identity,” he explains. “We are reiterating the values of the university.”