By ERIKA ANDERSON, Staff Writer | Published January 29, 2004
Armed with letters for their political leaders urging them to support pro-life legislation, teens from the archdiocese piled into the Georgia Legislative Office Building to make a difference.
Meeting with their political representatives was part of events of “Rise Up for Life Georgia,” a program which began with a Mass, prayer vigil and pro-life speakers followed by a lock-in at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Jan. 21.
On Jan. 22, teens headed to the Capitol to meet face to face with legislators to tell them how they feel.
A group of 12 students from Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fairburn met with state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg).
Stephen Lenahan, a junior, spoke for the group and told Seabaugh that there was a “long waiting list of students who wanted to come, all of us who are pro-life.”
Seabaugh is the co-sponsor of the Women’s Right to Know Act that, if passed, would require doctors to give women more detailed information about abortion. He said he has been pro-life for his “entire life.”
“I am pro-life and I don’t support any exceptions. I believe all life is a gift from God. We all have a purpose and who can say what that purpose is,” he said.
Seabaugh gave the teens the opportunity to ask questions and spoke honestly about the challenges facing pro-life proponents.
“You don’t win hearts by getting in someone’s face and calling them a baby killer. That will actually harden their hearts … It will make them more motivated to push their issue.”
He encouraged teens to become “informed voters.”
“You have to decide if you want to become part of the problem or part of the solution,” he said. “You have to decide what your role is. Reach out to others with love and understanding.”
For many students in the group, the experience of meeting with a legislator was inspiring.
Ndidi Egwenike, a junior, said she wanted to represent her fellow African-Americans.
“I think it’s important for African-Americans to know that not all African-Americans are pro-choice. That’s just stereotypical. I wanted to show people that that’s not true.”
Kevin Davis, a sophomore, joined the group from Mercy since he was the only teen attending from his parish, Holy Trinity in Peachtree City. He said he was glad he was able to ask questions and speak his mind.
“Right now we can’t do too much, but we can make them look at us and say, ‘He may be young, but he has ideas,’” Davis said.