Oct. 18 marked the National Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. Life139, Union’s pro-life organization, observed this national day Tuesday, commemorating the 3,000 babies aborted every day in America and the over 57 million babies who have died since 1973.
Participants gathered Monday night to pray and to kick off the Day of Silent Solidarity. They wrote the word “LIFE” on red duct tape, taped it to their arms and refrained from speaking except in the case of classes and other necessary situations from 9:30 p.m. on Monday until 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
When asked why they were silent, participants answered by handing out a flyer that gave an explanation and some statistics about abortion.
Andrew Edmiston, junior physics and math major and president of Life139, says that the Silent Day of Solidarity is an act of symbolism in which the participants can give up their voices for 24 hours to give a voice through their silence to the many babies who have lost their voices because of abortion. He says that it’s also a way to sympathize and empathize with the aborted children and a way for people to speak out through their silence to raise awareness for the issue.
Edmiston says raising awareness is a crucial part of making a tangible difference.
“Awareness is never an end in and of itself but it’s the first step,” Edmiston said. “Before anybody can take action on a problem, it has to be brought to their attention. They have to be made aware of it.”
Edmiston says that although everyone on Union’s campus pretty much knows about the issue of abortion and many are already pro-life, this is an important way to remind ourselves of this issue, especially in the midst of our busy lives.
“What we’re looking to do is just constantly remind ourselves of it,” Edmiston said. “It’s such a pressing and constant issue that we constantly need to be reminded of it. This is a reminder not only for the people that we hand out flyers to, but to us personally just to say these lives are precious, they are being taken out every day, the Lord cares about them, and He wants us to do something. It’s an opportunity for us to remind ourselves, to remind others, and also just to be in a spirit of prayer.”
Edmiston says that the fundamental question of abortion is what kind of life is being taken. He says that the Bible and modern science both affirm that babies even in the womb are full human beings with all of the rights that a human being has. The Bible explains how God has made humans in His own image, how much God loves and cares about us, and how much we should love our neighbor. He says that if we realize that the unborn babies are also our neighbors, we realize that it’s our duty to speak out for them and show love to them.
“That’s what the pro-life movement is about, seeking love for our neighbor, seeking to show them that through fighting for justice for them,” Edmiston said. “This is just one way we can do that to continually, even in our silence, be speaking out for their needs.”
In light of the upcoming election, Edmiston believes that Christians should vote with the pro-life issue at the forefront.
“One of your highest priorities should be life and I don’t think really anything else trumps that,” Edmiston said. “There are definitely other issues that play into it, but I don’t think you should vote for anyone, in almost all circumstances, who is pro-choice.”
Tiffany Dawson, senior media communications major, participated Tuesday and reflected on her experience at the end of the day.
“Day of Silent Solidarity is a solemn day while we remember the millions of children that have been lost over the years and stand up for today’s and tomorrow’s unborn children,” Dawson said.
Dawson found the day to be successful.
“[This] was a great opportunity to bring up the discussion over abortion and pro-life issues with others who may not share our beliefs,” Dawson said. “I was able to have a discussion (with pencil and paper) with someone about these issues. The conversation started when the other person realized why I wasn’t talking.”
Not only did Dawson have the opportunity to raise awareness about abortion, she also learned from the experience.
“We really take the power of speech for granted. I was humbled about how easy it is for us grownups to speak (and how hard it is not to speak) while unborn babies cannot speak,” Dawson said.
Life139 meets at 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays in Bowld 221.