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Event encourages respectful discussion of issue

Trevor Pollo, of Protect Life Michigan, discusses abortion at a Stump the Pro-Lifer event at Northern Michigan University in Jamrich Hall Wednesday evening. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE– Certain subjects may seem too taboo or off limits to discuss in mixed company. They are the sort of issues that can have a polarizing effect. Student group Protect Life Michigan at NMU sought to give students a chance to listen and talk about the complex subject of abortion during the Stump the Pro-Lifer event at Northern Michigan University in Jamrich Hall Wednesday evening.

NMU student Matthew Mahoney, president of Protect Life Michigan at NMU, organized the event to bring students from both sides of the argument together to find “some peace” and hear about the pro-life side of the debate in a healthy atmosphere. The event was sponsored and led by anti-abortionists, but encouraged respectful, fact-based discussion and participation on the issue.

Trevor Pollo, director of training for Protect Life Michigan, started the event with a 10-minute presentation that introduced students to his views and the views shared by many in the pro-life movement. He backed up his talking points with supporting evidence.

During his presentation, Pollo brought attendees through the line of questioning that led him to take a pro-life stance on abortion.

“Is the unborn human?”‘ Pollo asked.

After researching this issue, the answer he came too was “yes.”

“It has a complete set of DNA from the moment of conception,” Pollo said during his presentation. “So, it’s a living human being.”

After coming to this conclusion, the question for Pollo became “Do the unborn have rights? Are they persons?”

“All of us in this room have basic human rights,” Pollo said. “I can’t abuse you, I can’t harm you, I can’t steal from you, things that you don’t just do from other human persons.”

After his presentation, Pollo gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions about his views, about abortion or the pro-life movement. He equally encouraged those with opposing views to speak their minds and challenge him in a respectful manner.

“The purpose of this event is to bring all of us together, no matter where we are on the spectrum to discuss this,” Pollo said before turning the conversation over to the audience.

Stump a Pro-Lifer events started a few years ago, when team members from Protect Life Michigan were talking about how the conversation on abortion always seemed to devolve into name calling and arguing. As a group, they wanted to find a way to have a rational dialogue about the issue.

“We refused to accept that that was the way we had to talk about this issue,” Pollo said. “So we wanted to come up with a way where we could have a safe environment where people can come with their very legitimate questions, or objections or challenges to the pro-life position, and we can respond to it, and have dialogue with it in a scientific, philosophically, logically, reasonable, respectful way.”

To learn more about Protect Life Michigan, visit www.protectlifemi.org.

Corey Kelly can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is ckelly@miningjournal.net.

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