By Sean Callahan, News Editor
“When I started working at a pregnancy resource center, I was not very pro-life. I didn’t know much about the movement,” Lizzie McNulty, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator of Students for Life of America, said. “But working there, I was made aware of the evil of abortion. Hearing stories of women going in and out of Planned Parenthood made me passionate.”
McNulty was the keynote speaker of a chemical abortion presentation, hosted on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 7 to 8 p.m., in Luparello Hall. The talk was sponsored by the Respect Life Club and Center for Catholic Thought and Culture.
McNulty began the talk by discussing her background. McNulty graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2018. After spending three years working at a pregnancy resource center, she joined Students For Life of America (SFLA), a non-profit pro-life organization that advocates for an end to abortion and spreads pro-life views on college campuses and high schools. Every semester, SFLA chooses an abortion topic to focus on. This semester it is chemical abortion, commonly known as the ‘abortion pill’.
“It’s a series of two steps with two pills. First is the mifepristone pill, which blocks progesterone, the hormone a fetus needs to continue growing,” McNulty said. “A few days later comes misoprostol, which starts contractions to expel the fetus.”
Websites such as mayoclinic.org and plannedparenthood.org corroborate McNulty’s explanation of how the pill works.
McNulty asserted that the pro-life movement has been ‘moving fast’ since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Supreme Court ruling, which struck down Roe v. Wade, holding that “the constitution does not confer a right to abortion.” The movement is increasing promotion of adoption and foster care reform and supporting pregnant and parent students on college campuses. McNulty stressed the hope that support systems for pregnant mothers would encourage them to avoid abortion.
A specific example of support provided by McNulty is Standingwithyou.org, a website created in anticipation of the Dobbs decision, where a user inputs their zip code, which then reveals all free pregnancy related resources nearby.
The post-Dobbs era, McNulty explained, is one of the primary reasons she and other members of Students for Life of America are discussing chemical abortion this semester. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, she said, ‘the abortion lobby’ lessened restrictions originally needed to obtain an abortion, including physician consultations and ultrasound scans. Since the lowering of COVID-19 restrictions, she said, ‘the abortion lobby’ is trying to keep those restrictions from coming back. Since Dobbs, she felt there has been increased promotion and accessibility. For example, she claimed that California plans to mandate that its state colleges provide the abortion pill.
McNulty feels there are risks being purposefully ignored by the abortion industry, such as the pill being advertised on social media like Tik Tok, conflicting health guidelines on when it’s safe to take the pill, and the risk of ectopic pregnancies. She is most concerned by the increasing deliveries of the abortion pill to women in their homes, which she refers to several times throughout the talk as ‘death by mail.’
“Death by mail means the abortion lobby is sending these extremely dangerous abortion pills to women’s homes, without a physician’s assistance,” she said.
McNulty also expressed several external concerns related to chemical abortion. For example, abortion pills make it convenient for sex trafficked or abused women to experience dangerous or potentially fatal pregnancies. She also asserted that chemicals from the pills and aborted remains are disposed of in waterways, and that Mifepristone can be found in animal drinking water. She cited National Abortion Federation study statistics on incomplete abortions, which is a risk of non-surgical abortions.
McNulty ended the lecture by addressing common pro-choice arguments. She claimed there is no study that says abortion is safer than childbirth. She argued that it is dangerous in part due to possible risks to the mother and in part due to the termination itself.
“For an abortion to be successful, it has to end human life. Therefore, it’s definitely not safe for that human life that’s being aborted,” McNulty said.
She also said that the argument ‘abortions will happen anyway’ is a slippery slope, since this same argument can be applied to crimes such as murder. Additionally, she claimed that the coat hanger abortion argument is a myth, since Bernard Nathanson, the author behind a prominent study involving the argument, admitted his results were falsified.
McNulty advised students to avoid volatile conversations or ‘spouting [pro-life] mantras’ when attempting to approach someone who is not pro-life. She said she tries to start with simple questions, such as ‘I care about supporting women, do you,’ or ‘do you think 63 million abortions is too many?’ She attempts to find common ground.
If McNulty had one message for students conflicted on the issue of abortion, she would encourage them to take a stance.
“Abortion is a dominant issue in our world that affects people all around us. I think it’s worth taking time to learn about and form an opinion on,” McNulty said.