This past weekend, the Students for Life (SFL), a pro-life organization on campus, attended the March for Life and National Pro-Life Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit was split into various workshops that covered various aspects of the pro-life movement. One of the members of the Students for Life organization, Althea Ansah, attended a session on how to respond to common pro-choice questions. University of New Hampshire (UNH) student Kelsey Mercurio, went to a talk about making schools a more welcoming place for pregnant and parenting students.   

“UNH SFL is hoping to make more serious strides to help make UNH more accessible for students who are parenting or facing an unplanned pregnancy,” Mercurio said. “Important areas include housing, financial aid, childcare, parking, knowledge about free services offered by pregnancy centers, knowledge about Title IX rights associated with pregnancy, and more.” 

Kristan Hawkins, the president of the Students for Life of America, representatives from the Heritage Foundation, and NFL Super Bowl champion Matt Birk all showed their support for the pro-life movement.  

The overall goal of Students for Life at UNH is to create “a culture where all life is supported from conception to natural death. We support pregnancy centers such as Options in Dover and initiatives to help pregnant and parenting students on campus.  As an organization, we do not support abortion because not only does it kill the life of a developing and unborn child; the procedure places women at higher risk of physical, reproductive and psychological problems.”  

In the fall of last year, the group had received backlash from some students, including their posters being vandalized and one sign being completely erased due to someone dumping coffee on it, several members said.  A member of the organization was told by another student that her pins on her bag supporting pro-life should be taken off.   

UNH student Katelyn Regan gave her thoughts on attending the summit.   

“Being able to be a part of history by going to the first every national pro-life summit was truly a blessing,” Regan said. “It was amazing to be able to learn more about what I can do as a student on campus, learn tactics for supporting the right to life and hear from so many amazing people.”  

 This year was the first National Pro-Life Summit; it was previously called the Students for Life National Conference for 12 years. According to the national Students for Life official website, over 2,000 people were in attendance in 2019.