Pregnant mom parking spots part of broader respect life campaign
The pro-life group at a Catholic college in Kansas successfully established a parking spot for expectant mothers on campus – but the group is not putting the brakes on its activism with this recent victory.
Ravens Respect Life, the pro-life organization at Benedictine College, finalized the initiative in January. Securing this resource is just one of several steps the group is taking to ensure that the sanctity of life is protected on campus and in the community.
“We know we have pregnant students on campus, and it was clear we needed it,” club president Joseph Hogan told The College Fix during an in-person interview after the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Ruth Nelson, the organization’s secretary, shared with The Fix during an in-person interview that some in the campus community were skeptical about the parking space.
“At first, when we asked if we could have it, some people asked, ‘Will it be used? Is it just going to be an empty parking spot?’” Nelson told The Fix. “But we went ahead with it, and we’ve gotten nothing but positive responses.”
Kathryn Pluta, the club’s vice president, affirmed the initiative’s tangible and emblematic effect on campus.
“Over time, the spot became a symbol of our vision for our college. We realized it was critical to create a visible sign that we are making space for the beauty of parenthood on our campus and community,” Pluta told The Fix via email. “The spot will be used for its intended purpose, but it also serves the purpose of constantly reminding us nothing is impossible with God, including difficult or unexpected pregnancies and parenthood in general.”
The intersection of faith and protecting the sanctity of life is seen in the group’s regular activities.
Ravens Respect Life conducts biweekly prayer trips and sidewalk counseling sessions outside Planned Parenthood. Sidewalk counseling outside of abortion facilities is meant to help women and parents learn about life-affirming options and reconsider their decision to terminate the life of their preborn baby.
The pro-life group would like to fortify their connections with health centers on and beyond campus, and secure “housing for pregnant moms, scholarships for pregnant moms, and a daycare, which would be not just for students,” Hogan, the club president, told The Fix.
An initiative launched this summer called Project Zélie aims to “create, improve, and enforce school policies concerning pregnant and parenting students, faculty, and families in correspondence with our Catholic values,” Pluta said.
The project is named for St. Zélie Martin, the mother of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a nun in the Carmelite religious order. Zélie and her husband Louis became the first married couple canonized together as saints in the Catholic Church.
“We envision a campus community that celebrates the dignity and worth of every human life and works to aid in the flourishing of the human person, not just in words, but also through action,” Pluta said.
The vice president provided some tips for others who want to advocate for the preborn and pregnant and parenting students.
She said to not shy away from the “hard stuff” and embrace the controversial topic of abortion.
“Being pro-life means radically loving the real human person in front of us, not the idea of a person or group of people or the ambiguous ideologies we cling to for meaning,” Pluta said. “It’s not about the amount of projects or elaborate nature of your initiative; it’s about the amount of love and dedication you put into it.”
Editor’s note: The article fixed the vice president’s last name – it is ‘Pluta’ not ‘Pulta.’
IMAGES: Ravens Respect Life/Facebook