March 04, 2009 | Matt Decker

Unborn Week began at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon with representatives from Bethany Christian Services of Grand Rapids speaking to students in the DeVos Communications Center.

Unborn Week, a week of events celebrating the sanctity of human life, began 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon with representatives from Bethany Christian Services of Grand Rapids speaking to students in DeVos Communications Center 150.  

Caring for mothers

Paul Gehm, the chair of the Calvin College Republicans, and a member since his freshman year, was pleased with the talk: “Their focus is on the adoption option and just walking through the process of helping a mother through a crisis pregnancy. How do we help her? How do we meet her needs at the moment?” said Gehm. He explained that supporting the mother, not pushing her toward a particular choice or giving unsolicited advice, is key to the adoption process, and that Bethany helps mothers cope with the adoption process and deal with separation issues.

Gehm expressed concern that the pro-life movement has been stereotyped as caring exclusively about the welfare of the unborn baby: “What I would suggest is that that has been largely wrong, but we in the pro-life movement have not done a good job of showing that we do care about the mother as well … ,” said Gehm, “We do care about the mother just as we care about the child. To us the pro-life movement means that each and every life has dignity and worth to it and, biblically, we recognize the image of God in the essence of each being.”

More events

The Calvin College Republicans, the student organization sponsoring Unborn Week, has planned two other events to celebrate human life.

At 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 4 in DC 150, the group plans to have a discussion with Dr. Joseph DeCook, a retired obstetrician and the vice president of the American Association of Pro-life OB-GYN's. DeCook will speak about the side effects of abortions, incorporating research and studies from Europe. (Gehm says that the question of whether or not doctors should be forced to perform abortions is still a vital issue.)

Open discussion on life

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, also in DC 150, the Republicans are hosting an open round table discussion for all students to engage in the issue of life. The group is eager to dedicate a time solely to the discussion of life issues in an open and honest setting.

Gehm, who has been on leadership for the Calvin College Republicans since his sophomore year, has high hopes for Unborn Week:

“This is a way to get the larger student body involved and active by having open and honest discussions on this political hot topic,” said Gehm, “We want our events to be something that everyone can come to. All students and all faculty—for those of the pro-life movement and not of the pro-life movement. For those in the movement we want to give them the resources to reach out to people like Bethany. For the others we want them to come as well so that we can engage in civic, open, honest discussion. For those who may have struggled with this issue personally, we want to say especially that you are welcome and that we care about you. We want to be there for you and to support you in whatever way we can.”

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