Students gather to discuss pro-life

Brianna Thorson


Noah Maldonado discusses with Abigail Willmore about abortion and his qualifications on March 8. Maldonado is the Northern Regional Coordinator of Students for Life of America that came into the high school to talk to students about pro-life.

By Laura Jaques and Judd Erickson, Reporter

Updated: 8:45 P.M. March 21, 2019.

The Students for Life club set up a pro-life booth featuring a banner declaring “I am pro-life, change my mind” during lunch on Friday, March 8, in the Spartan Commons in front of the Performing Arts Center.

“The SHS Students for Life group followed all policies and procedures in regards to their display/booth on March 8,” Principal Greg Posewitz said in an email to The Spartan Spin.

Senior Noah Roe, along with sophomore Julia Roe, senior Shannon McCoshen and their adviser, science teacher Lee Sims, organized the event. According to Roe, the president of the SFL on the SHS campus, the club puts on pro-life displays to educate the student body about the unborn. The SFL student club brought in their parent organization, Students for Life of America, to discuss – with any students willing –  their views on abortion.

“All people deserve rights,” Noah Roe said.

McCoshen took the chair to listen to those trying to change her mind on the issue. She looked forward to debating, but also to listening.

“During a debate, people are stuck on their own side.” McCoshen said. “I hoped that people would see the other side of the issue.”

Many students walked over to the booth to listen to the discussions and to voice their own opinions. Sims said that at one point he counted and figured there were approximately 60 students gathered around the booth, both listening as well as engaging in discussion.

I am proud of people on both sides of the issue for coming together at the table and talking about the issue,” Sims said.

Topics included abortion, if the fetus has rights or not, and women’s rights.

“We are trying to educate people not only about the topic, but also on how to have a civil discussion without emotions,” Noah Roe said.

Noah Roe believes that men and women are able to have an opinion on this topic despite the controversy. He was very happy with the success from the booth because students were “civil, kind and open-minded.”

Junior Abigail Willmore came to lunch and became curious when she saw the pro-life booth. Willmore said she did not want to “get in trouble,” by going up to the booth. However, she said, “It wasn’t like me to not say something.”

Noah Maldonado, the guest speaker and Northern Regional Coordinator of Students for Life of America was also one who engaged a number of students.

Willmore sat down to talk with Maldonado, asking him about his education and whether his background qualified him to be at the school.

“I studied at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and am now continuing my degree at the University of North Dakota. I have formal training in advanced apologetics (reasoned arguments or justifications) concerning the issue of abortion from leading organizations in the pro-life movement as a staff member for Students for Life,” Maldonado told The Spartan Spin in an email sent to the newspaper’s adviser.

“It was sad, the whole thing was sad,” Willmore said. “He compared my friend to a Nazi sympathizer. It went too far.”

Maldonado said that in the midst of discussing with a student, he asked a question about “unjust discrimination of the Jewish people in the 1940’s by the Nazi Regime.”

He explained, via email, that in a “thought experiment” he “asked specifically if Nazi officials had changed their methodology to eradicate the Jewish people to include forcible abortion, if would it be considered discrimination against the Jewish people.”

Julia Roe stood at a table to the side to inform students who were interested about their organization.

“I think it’s important to talk about the abortion argument,” Julia Roe said. “I wanted to change people’s minds.”

Julia Roe pointed out that she didn’t just want to argue her point, but that she also wanted to people to change her mind. She said she wanted to hear their arguments.

Willmore said she is in the process of writing a letter to the school board about what happened at the Students for Life booth, why she thought it wasn’t okay and what can be done to make a change.