This past Tuesday, May 3, the new student organization Lawrentians for Life presented a talk entitled “Exposing Planned Parenthood” in Science Hall 102. Jerry Schmutte, the speaker who gave the presentation, is a retired business executive and high school teacher who received Pro-Life Wisconsin’s “Activist of the Year” award in 2003. He has given the presentation a total of 50 times across the state of Wisconsin. His presentation included information about the history of Planned Parenthood — founded in 1921 as the American Birth Control League, the organization changed its name to the present one in 1942 – and some of the views of its founder, Margaret Sanger. He also talked about the effectiveness of the different methods of contraception. Members from LFL and other student organizations, such as the Downer Feminist Council, attended the presentation. A total of 30 people representing very diverse opinions on the issue came to the event. According to Erica Hamilton, secretary of LFL, “The presenter is in no way a representative of the beliefs of our group, but I felt the presentation was a valid viewpoint. It was based in something that the presenter felt very strongly about and had researched to uphold what he believed in.” LFL member-at-large Mallory Carl added, “I think that because the talk was more based on religious beliefs, it probably was not as effective as it could have been.” The presentation ended with a question-and-answer session. Steve Swedberg, chair of LFL, commented that, “That sure got people talking.” Miriam Gieske, vice chair of LFL added, “I very much hope that the presentation by Jerry Schmutte will get people on this campus thinking and talking about abortion and other life-related issues. All of us, on either side of the debate, need to consider why we take the positions we do, not just base our opinions on a knee-jerk reaction.” The group’s official line is that life begins at conception, and abortion should be avoided in most cases, with three exceptions: in the cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. The group also plans to inform students about the anti-abortion movement and educate people about their options, such as carrying the pregnancy to term and giving up the baby for adoption. The group sees its role as presenting another side to the abortion debate and giving voice to views that may sometimes be otherwise underrepresented on campus. LFL was just formed about a month ago, by a group of like-minded individuals of different backgrounds. The club is non-sectarian and non-partisan. Currently the club has more women than men. It is affiliated with the Wisconsin Right to Life organization. The group will meet on May 12, and every other Thursday after that, at 10 p.m. in Mursell House.