PPO seminar to discuss right to life

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PPO seminar to discuss right to life

The Public Policy Organization will host a Pillars of Personhood seminar Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Davis Room.

The seminar, presented by Georgia Right to Life, will be divided into several sessions, each covering a different topic related to current bioethical debates and controversial political issues. Topics range from abortion and cloning to eugenics and euthanasia.

The speakers are Joshua Edmonds and Bethany
Walker. Edmonds is the director of education & technology for Georgia Right to Life. He has also been a political consultant and a Georgia state senate committee aide.

Walker is the bioethics adviser for Georgia Right to Life.

In a preview session held Feb. 27, Edmonds said he became involved with the pro-life movement after his teachers challenged his thinking by simultaneously teaching about the formation of life and the ethics of abortion. The contradiction he saw spurred him to action.

Abby Chetta, one of the organizers of the event, worked with the pro-life movement back in high school. She is excited the organization is able to bring the right to life debate to the student body.

“The Pillars of Personhood seminar is specifically geared toward our age group as college students to know the current bioethical and political issues in regards to rights to life,” Chetta said.

The seminar will discuss the answer to the question, “When does a human being have the right to life as a person?” The speakers will use historic examples such as the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany and antebellum slavery.

“Personhood is not a new area to argue,” Chetta said. “It’s been debated all throughout history.”

Rob Edgar, president of the PPO, said he is glad the PPO is able to encourage student discussion on this and other important political topics.

“The vision of PPO is to have a nonpartisan view on policy in today’s world,” Edgar said. “Our [core objective] is educating the student body on all policy.”

Edgar said one of the main goals of the event is to equip students with solid information not only about the pro-life stance, but also about having a biblical foundation and correct response when faced with a pro-choice argument.

“A lot of us students are pro-life, but we don’t really know why,” Edgar said. “What the Pillars of Personhood seminar is going to do is help us debate apologetically why we hold the positions that we do.”

The seminar has been especially encouraged for students in medical and other science-related fields of study. The bioethical issues raised in the discussion are especially applicable to students planning to go into medical or research fields.

But Chetta was clear the seminar is beneficial for more than just premed and nursing majors.

“My goal is to get people thinking [about life] as something bigger than the petty problems we have every day,”  Chetta said. “We have the opportunity to use this information presented here to promote the Gospel.”

She said she hopes this seminar will give students a passion for pro-life and equip them “to be ready always to give an answer.”   

Since the seminar is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday, students can bring breakfast and coffee from the Kalmbach Room into the sessions.

Attendance is free, but those planning to attend are asked to RSVP at pillarsofpersonhood.eventbrite.com.

Discussion is greatly encouraged, and students will be able to text in questions for Edmonds to answer as he presents.