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Christian Union
October 8, 2013

October 17-19

Event details and registration at www.lifeandtruth2013.com

A student organization at Yale hopes to make a big statement this fall with its conference, Vita et Veritas 2013: Promoting a Culture of Life and Truth.

Hosted by Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) from October 17-19, Vita et Veritas will welcome students from the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.

"A large battle in the pro-life movement is fought in dialogue, engaging with ideas and philosophies of supporters and opponents alike," says conference coordinator Courtney McEachon '15. "By hosting a pro-life conference at what can perhaps be called a 'liberal bastion,' we are opening up the opportunity for the pro-life debate to happen on a large scale."

The conference will include topics such as Why Liberals Should Be Pro-Life, Reclaiming Feminism, and A Former Abortionist Speaks Out. An interfaith panel discussion will feature participants from various religious and philosophical perspectives. Presentations on the legal aspects of abortion are also planned.

Among the invited panelists are Monsignor Phillip Reilly of Helpers of God's Precious Infants, Islamic author Suzy Ismail, and Kelsey Hazzard, president of Secular Pro-life and a legal fellow at Americans United for Life. Aimee Murphy, founder and editor of Life Matter Journal will serve as moderator. The conference is co-sponsored by Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Students for Life for America, and Christian Union.

McEachon said provocative topics for discussion were chosen to attract students who don't consider themselves pro-life. While the conference is built around open discussion, CLAY (chooselifeatyale.squarespace.com) intends to use the opportunity to reveal the hidden truths about abortion.

"With the former abortionist's talk, we would like to expose the underbelly of the abortion industry as a lucrative business rather than a humanitarian effort, as it is often promoted," she said.

The atrocities of abortion recently made headlines with the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murdering a baby who survived an abortion and involuntary manslaughter of a patient.

"Now more than ever, Roe is in the news and in the consciousness of the press. With the recent expose of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and further scientific discoveries, the life of the unborn and the atrocity of abortion cannot be ignored," she said.

The pro-life students at Yale are poised to keep the discussion going after the conference and hope to establish an Ivy Coalition for Life. The coalition started to come together last year at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. when leaders of the various pro-life groups in the Ivy League met at the Capitol.

McEachon says the pro-life effort would benefit from extended support across universities. For example, she sees the coalition uniting to produce parallel opinion-editorial pieces in the campus magazines, organizing unified poster campaigns, and sharing recruiting and outreach strategies.

While pro-life events and displays have ignited controversy and protests on campuses in the past, McEachon is not put off by the possibility. In fact, she plans to use any such occurrence to the organization's advantage.

"Protests would only increase the publicity and lead directly to the dialogue we are looking to have," she said. "Though angry, obstinate protests are a hindrance more than anything else. If we find channels to engage with our protestors, one facet of our conference's mission will be fulfilled."

And the central mission of the conference would be fulfilled, said McEachon, if Vita et Veritas served to "inspire college students from various campuses also to go forth with pro-life activism."

For more information on Vita et Veritas or to register, visit www.lifeandtruth2013.com.