Who we are:
Every Life Matters is a Pro-Life group on the campus of Concordia University in Irvine, California.
- To prayerfully speak up for and defend unborn children, who have been knit together by God in their mothers' wombs.
- To offer loving help and support to women facing crisis pregnancies, women who have had abortions, and families impacted by abortion.
- To raise awareness about the abortion crisis in our community and our country.
- To educate our members and our community about pregnancy and abortion.
- To support those in our community and in our country who are already working to help women and end abortion.
Why "Every Life Matters"?
Some people misunderstand the Pro-Life movement. We're not only concerned for the unborn children, but also for the women and their families. We believe life has value at every stage of development, and that all people have a right to live regardless of age, size, level of dependence, or environment.
Also, it means our acronym is "ELM", which lets us have a cool-looking logo and tree theme.
President: Katie Young
Vice President: Megan Johnston
Treasurer: Matthew Martin
Secretary: Maggie Langdon
ELM began as "Eagles' Eggs" in the Fall of 2013. We changed our name upon being established as an official CUI club. Since that time we have had speakers on campus, helped our community through service projects, hosted a movie night, and participated in events like National Pro-Life Chalk Day.
We've worked with and supported organizations such as:
We have stated views on the following:
- Health of the Mother
- Rape and Incest
- Hormonal Birth Control
- Natural Family Planning
- Graphic Images
Abortion is not just an issue of the woman's body. There are two bodies involved with two different sets of DNA. From the moment of conception, the child is alive, growing, and unique. Abortion at any stage of development kills a human child.
ELM is against the euthanization of human beings. If a person is dying and their care only prolongs the dying process, the withdrawal of extraordinary care (as opposed to ordinary care) is moral. Actively ending the person's life by the use of a drug or other substance or by withdrawing ordinary care is murder.
Ordinary care includes food, water, and oxygen -- things that all human beings need to survive. If a person cannot provide those things for him or herself, medical personnel and medical facilities should assist that person by providing ordinary care. Extraordinary care is anything above and beyond ordinary care that extends life in the face of illness or injury.
A person should be able to continue to receive extraordinary care as long as they need and want it, but if that extraordinary care is only prolonging the dying process, that care can be refused by the patient or by whoever is able to make decisions for the patient if the patient is no longer able to make decisions for him or herself.
For instance, a person dying of a terminal illness could choose to refuse treatment for the illness, but should still be provided with ordinary care such as nutrition, hydration, and oxygen as those things are needed. That person should not be given a lethal dose of a drug to end his or her life or be deprived of food, water, or air in order to starve, dehydrate, or suffocate him or her to death.
Health of the Mother
Rape and Incest
Both of these are horrible, traumatic crimes. The victims of these crimes deserve support, love, and compassion, and the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The first step in these cases is to make sure the woman is safe. If she was raped by someone she was in a relationship, is he still around? If she is a victim of incest, is she still living with or near the perpetrator? If that is the case, the first step is to get her out and to a safe place, with a friend, family member, or domestic violence shelter.
Once the woman is safe, she should enter counseling as soon as possible to begin the long and difficult healing process. Those around her should build a support network so that she knows she's safe and loved.
The unborn child is still a human child, and the value of its life is no different from the value of a wanted child's life. That child does not deserve to be punished for the despicable crimes of the father.
The woman should carefully consider her options with the help of her family, significant other (if she has one), and her counselor. If she is in no condition to become a parent, adoption agencies will connect women with adoptive parents who will support her throughout her pregnancy and allow her to get to know the people who will be caring for her child. She can even choose to maintain a relationship with the child after the adoption. Whether she chooses parenting or adoption, she will need the full acceptance and compassion of her support network.
If she does, unfortunately, choose abortion, her counselor will need to add post-abortion counseling to her treatment plan. Many women who became pregnant after being raped and chose abortion later realized that the choice only added violence, trauma, and guilt on top of the trauma they had already suffered.
Whether she feels regret and guilt over her abortion or not, the child was still a living, unique human child.
Hormonal Birth Control
There are many methods of birth control, but the most controversial is the hormonal variety. This includes the Pill, Plan B, IUDs, injections, and any other method by which the woman's hormones are altered to prevent her from becoming pregnant.
The first birth control pill only contained a drug that prevented ovulation. However, the original dosage was so high that it caused severe side effects, pain, and sometimes death. Since then, the dose has been lowered. This lower dose, of course, was not as effective as the higher dose in preventing pregnancy. Therefore, two new methods of preventing pregnancy were introduced to decrease the failure rate.
Modern hormonal birth control works in three ways:
- It prevents the egg from being released.
- It thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from coming through.
- It depletes the lining of the uterus to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.
The three methods are needed because none of them work 100% of the time. In the regular methods, this is due to the lower dose that is supposed to be safer for the woman. In Plan B, which has a higher dose, it is due to the fact that ovulation may have already occurred and the sperm may have already penetrated the cervical mucus before the drug takes effect. What this means is that in some cases, an egg may be fertilized and then aborted if it cannot implant in the uterus.
Since science shows that human life and development begins at fertilization, this means that hormonal birth control can end a human life. Therefore, ELM does not recommend hormonal birth control.
Hormonal birth control has also been associated with increased risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, and benign liver tumors.
Other options include abstinence (works 100% of the time), Natural Family Planning, and barrier methods (condoms and similar devices). These methods will be healthier for the woman and will not cause abortions.
Natural Family Planning
Natural Family Planning, or NFP, is a natural method of limiting pregnancy that involves healthy communication between the partners and no harmful drugs or annoying devices. The woman monitors various physiological signs that indicate when she is most fertile, and she and her partner avoid sex on those days.
Natural Family Planning classes teach couples how to use it properly to strengthen their relationship and avoid a pregnancy they are not prepared for. Some classes are taught couple to couple by those who have used it successfully to those who are new to the idea. If you think NFP is for you, you can easily find classes in your area through a quick Google search.
One variation of NFP involves using a barrier method on fertile days. This may be the preferred method for those who don't mind barrier methods and don't like abstinence, but couples should be warned that failure rates are higher for those who use NFP in this way.
Sex is a wonderful thing. It is a gift from God intended for married couples to enjoy together. When it is misused, it can lead to emotional problems, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies.
Sex is also designed to produce a child. No matter what birth control methods couples use, there is always a failure rate because our reproductive systems are designed to reproduce against all odds.
Waiting to have sex until marriage is not only the 100% fool-proof way to avoid pregnancy (except in cases of rape, which are addressed above), but it is healthier physically and psychologically. Monogamy cancels the risk for STDs and strengthens the marriage relationship.
Abstinence is possible. Anyone can do it. It can be difficult, and sex outside of marriage can be tempting, but looking beyond short-term gratification can lead to a healthy long-term relationship.
In the same way, we cannot forget what abortion does. It is not an abstract political or ethical issue for philosophers to debate. It is the real dismemberment and murder of human beings happening on a massive scale on a daily basis -- 115,068 every single day.
Thus, graphic images are important in cutting through semantic arguments and showing people exactly what it is we are fighting.
However, ELM does not support using graphic images in front of abortion clinics while the clinic is open and abortion clients are arriving for appointments. While some women have changed their minds due to these images, former abortion clinic workers have stated that more often women were scared into the clinic by those they viewed as "crazy" and "extreme." The clinic workers could then affirm the opinion that those on the sidewalk who only want to help were in fact lunatics trying to pressure the client. The client would then believe that the worker has her best interests at heart and go through with the procedure.