Yale conference seeks to foster culture of life
By Kelly Thomas | September 26, 2016, 15:08 EDT
NEW HAVEN – For most college students, the end of September means the end of course-shopping and the threat of looming deadlines and midterms. But for a small group of students at Yale University, the library is the last thing on their minds. Instead, they are preparing to host nearly two-hundred students at a conference this week on the global pro-life movement.
Now in its third year, Vita et Veritas, run by Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) has grown from a regional conference to one with national reach, attracting attendees from as far as the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and Baylor University in Waco Texas. With its name drawing inspiration from the mottos of both Yale and Harvard, the conference’s mission, in the words of its current co-director, Evy Behling (Yale’17) is to “evoke a sense of the intellectual perspectives” that undergird the pro-life cause, while catering to a collegiate audience.
A member of CLAY since her freshmen year, Behling volunteered at the inaugural Vite Et Veritas conference in 2013 and describes the event as one that seeks to define the pro-life movement comprehensively, rather than focusing on a single life-related issue. The aim is to bring students into a dialogue about the value of life, a dialogue that otherwise would not happen on a campus like Yale, where Behling describes the pro-life community as one that is “small but determined.”
This year’s event, scheduled to run from September 30th through October 1st, will emphasize the global impact of abortion and other bio-ethical issues. Reggie Littlejohn, the founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, will kick off the conference with her keynote address at Friday night’s banquet. The next day, students, scholars, and activists from around the country will attend panel discussions and individual talks given by leaders from different wings of the pro-life movement.