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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Deis for Life advocates for an unpopular message, but not looking for controversy

Published: March 4, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

Deis for Life, a recently chartered club on campus, is dedicated to serious, yet open, discussion of their views against abortion.

Though disseminating right-to-life ideas is the main purpose, pursuant to the clubs charter with the Student Union, the club will also provide the community with information on abstinence and celibacy, particularly as an alternative to contraceptive use. Deis for Life would like to be the forum and center for pro-life and abstinence issues on campus.

Richard Enander 07, a member of the five person executive board said, our main reason for opposition of contraception is because most of the time contraception is used when sex occurs outside of marriage. Since we are also a pro-abstinence group, we are opposed to pre-marital sex, and thus, contraception.

Reflecting on the view that contraception is a lesser evil when compared with unwanted pregnancies, Enander commented, thats difficult to say, because we feel that neither should be occurring if people do not engage in pre-marital sex. If they do choose to do so, however, then they accept whatever risk their actions may bring.

According to Jonathan Sham 06, also on the clubs executive board, the founding members believe that these are issues which transcend religious and political boundaries.

Any student with an interest in abstinence issues should join to discuss such topics. It doesnt matter whether someone agrees with our views or holds the opposing view, we hope that through intellectual discussion both sides may come to a better understanding of the issues at hand, Enander told the Hoot. He described the club as being composed of, Catholics, Jews, men, woman, conservatives and liberals alike.
Sham acknowledged that the dominant campus stance is pro-choice. We are not here to change minds. There are people on the fence.

Deis for Life is currently trying to bring Norma McCorvey — Jane Roe of the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision effectively legalizing abortion — to campus early next fall. McCorvey, once pro-choice, is now an anti-abortion activist.

This past Valentines Day, Deis for Life stuffed student mailboxes with a flier that encouraged abstinence. In spite of substantive ideological differences, the club is working with the Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS) to advocate Deis for Lifes point of view. SSIS does not take a stand on when and how students should have sex, but does provide a wide variety of contraceptives along with sex education materials.

Sham said that the club has faced very little opposition and is not interested in causing a stir. We want to say, hey, were here, please listen to what we say.