Students for Life protest abortion at clinic

President of WSU chapter puts emphasis on women knowing all options before decision

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

For Nicole Manzione, president of WSU’s Students for Life chapter, participating in the anti-abortion 40 Days for Life campaign was a feminist choice.

According to its website, 40 Days for Life is an international prayer vigil where anyone passionate about the cause organizes in front of clinics that provide abortions. It began on Feb. 14 and will end on March 25. The protest is peaceful, with signs reading, “Pray to an end of abortion” or “We can help.”

The group carries information about the Palouse Care Network, a Moscow pregnancy center that provides additional consultations, and what Manzione said were “abortion pill reversal cards.”

She said that RU-486, or mifepristone — a controversial medication meant to reverse a pregnancy six to eight weeks along — is a dangerous medical abortion. According to a New York Times article, the pill came under fire when several women died from bacterial infections caused by the drug.

Since then, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, the drug, now called Mifeprex or the abortion pill,  is still approved for prescription, though they now recommend a lower dose and to engage in timely check-ups with a health care provider.

Manzione said Planned Parenthood’s involvement in administering the pill is why she thinks the clinic should be defunded. The abortion pill reversal cards Manzione will hand out provide contact information for clinics that can reverse the hormonal change caused by the pills, thus saving the embryo.

But the prayer vigil is not a protest against Planned Parenthood, Manzione said. Instead, Students for Life are protesting the institution of abortion on any grounds.

“Abortion is wrong because life starts at conception,” Manzione said. “As a Catholic, all life has value, whether it’s wanted or unwanted.”

Manzione’s faith propelled her into Students for Life, and made her want to expand what she thinks is a women’s and human rights issue.

“Most women, you’ll find that they think it’s their only option, or they’re pushed into it by maybe a boyfriend or friend or parents,” Manzione said. “Maybe they don’t want to do it and they just feel like they had to.”

An important aspect of their group is that they never approach someone without being approached first, she said.

Through this, Manzione learned how tolerant Pullman is of this demonstration. She said some of the Students for Life members felt nervous about protesting, but the community has been accepting.

Manzione said she genuinely wants to help women by giving them positive messages and offering support to those who have doubts.

Women should have friends and family who are able to think clearly about a stressful situation, Manzione said.

“It’s about looking at community resources and not just saying, ‘Let’s go to Planned Parenthood and get this taken care of,’ ” Manzione said, “because that doesn’t solve the problem in her mind and doesn’t give her the full amount of choices she has.”