JACKSON, Tenn. — Thirteen Union University students will take part in the annual March for Life, a peaceful pro-life demonstration, this week in Washington, D.C.
The students are members of Life139, Union’s pro-life student group. They will also participate in Evangelicals for Life and Students for Life conferences while in D.C.
“Abortion is the greatest human rights issue of our generation,” said Andrew Edmiston, a junior physics major and president of Life139. “It affects all races, all people. It’s the human life at its most innocent stage.”
Paul Mayer, director for health services at Union and sponsor for Life139, will travel with the students. He said he is excited to see so many students eager to take a stand for their beliefs. He said the students will hear from experienced leaders and meet the politicians who make important decisions on life issues.
“You would think evangelicals for life would be an oxymoron,” Mayer said. “But it’s really not. It’s important that we come together with one voice and say, ‘This is what we believe.’”
C. Ben Mitchell, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union, will be part of a panel on pro-life issues at the Evangelicals for Life conference. He said as a Christ-centered, people-focused institution, Union is invested in life issues.
“God has made every human being in his image and likeness,” Mitchell said. “We have a moral duty to respect and protect people from womb to tomb. That our students see this as such an important event is a great encouragement to all of us.”
This will be the first time Life139 students have participated in the march and conferences. The conferences will take place Jan. 26-28with the march taking place Jan. 27.
Edmiston said Life139 takes its name from Psalm 139 and seeks to raise awareness about abortion issues and mobilize students to make a difference. The group regularly partners with Birth Choice, a crisis pregnancy center in Jackson, and holds fund-raisers and other events throughout the year.
“We get involved wherever we can,” Edmiston said. “But the importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized.”
Life139 meets weekly throughout the spring and fall semesters for a time of prayer. Edmiston said they pray for all issues concerning life. He said Union is unique because many of the students are pro-life, so the issue can fly under the radar.
“I think most people here would say they are pro-life, but we don’t think about it very much,” Edmiston said. “Life139 tries to bring it to people’s minds and get people involved.”
Students interested in joining Life139 can join their Facebook group for updates about meetings and events.