Advocates for Life, Americans United for Life’s new, national organization for pro-life law students, hosted a Pro-Life Lawyers and Law Students Mixer in New York City this past week, together with Columbia Law School and Fordham Law School’s pro-life groups.
Kellie Fiedorek, National Coordinator of Advocates for Life, spoke briefly on the vision and purpose of Advocates for Life. “The purpose of these sorts of gatherings is to stimulate discussion and debate on critical legal issues impacting life,” Kellie Fiedorek said. “We hope to cultivate a culture of courage in the pro-life community across the country by providing occasions for fellowship and dialogue.” She thanked both Columbia and Fordham for their work in putting on the event, a perfect example of the types of educational events Advocates for Life is commencing on law school campuses across the country.
Over 40 people attended the event to meet other pro-life law students and attorneys and to hear Professor Teresa Collett from the University of St. Thomas speak on “International Law and Threats to Human Life.” Catherine Foster, a second year law student at Georgetown, related, “It was such an inspiration to be able to listen to a giant in the legal field discuss abortion in international law.”
Professor Collett’s presentation generated dialogue on how to use the law to protect the dignity of life. She discussed how international law is being distorted by treaty language never meant to include a right to abortion. This idea resounded well with those present and stimulated some excellent questions following the talk. Columbia Law Students for Life’s president, Joanne Pedone, said, “Professor Collett’s inspiring message demonstrated that, contrary to many claims by those influential in the international legal community, the evidence simply does not show that abortion promotes maternal health or is a panacea for the problems women in developing countries actually face.”
These types of lectures and receptions also allow law students to meet others in the legal world who care about protecting the rights of all human beings. Attorneys who work in New York City, as well as several non-lawyers, expressed their appreciation to be able to attend such a lecture. James Olsen, a third year law student at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, stated, “It’s exciting to meet other law students and practicing lawyers across the country eager to discuss life issues and the law.”
A special thanks to the executive board of Columbia Law Students for Life for hosting this event at their law school. Facilitating discussion of these important life issues on law school campuses furthers Advocates for Life’s mission to lay the intellectual groundwork for future lawyers, legislators, and judges.