Several ISU students will use silence to make a statement Tuesday as they refrain from speaking to express their opposition to abortion.
The Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity is a project of Stand True Ministries and has a presence on thousands of school campuses worldwide.
The event was brought to Iowa State for the first time last year by The Rock Christian Students club. Laura Weieneth, senior in horticulture, was involved with organizing the event and said the group is expecting increased participation this year.
The idea for the Silent Day of Solidarity came to Bryan Kemper, founder and president of Stand True Ministries, in 2004. Since then it has spread to more than 4,800 schools in 25 countries.
“If you have a group of 10, 15 kids talking about something on a campus, it’s no big deal; you get a few people that’ll listen to it,” Kemper said. “But if you get that same group of kids refusing to say a word and just remain silent all day, everybody wants to know why and it becomes the most talked-about thing on campus. By them being silent, it’s actually speaking louder than any words can.”
In addition to remaining silent, many participants choose to wear red duct tape over their mouths or around their arms. Their method of communicating with other students will be flyers explaining the event.
Weieneth said she found the event rewarding last year.
“It was a good experience for me to participate in it, just to really think about the issue, and it’s really sobering when you realize how many children are being aborted and treated as less than human,” Weieneth said.
Abortion was legalized under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973. It has remained one of the most debated social issues in the United States, even triggering some dramatic moments in the vice presidential debate last Thursday.
The Silent Day of Solidarity will raise the issue of abortion as many students prepare to cast their vote.
“This isn’t necessarily a political event, but it obviously relates to politics," Weieneth said. "I think something as important as the equal right to life of every human being should definitely be a consideration in politics.”