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Will Bobcats for Life continue its history of controversy? 

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A spring 2017 demonstration set up by Bobcats for Life on South Green. File photo by Heather Willard.

The new president of the organization said she wants to get their message across with “a more compassionate approach.” 

Ohio University senior Ashley Law has taken over as President of Ohio University Bobcats for Life, an anti-abortion organization founded last year by junior Jacob Hoback.

Law, who is studying World Religions, helped Hoback create the organization last year and worked as secretary before accepting her new role as president.

After several events last year elicited strong reactions, Law hopes to make the organization less polarizing. Events last year featured graphic photos and videos of abortion and fetuses.

“Our tactics are definitely going to be different this year, and that’s not to throw away what Jacob did last year,” Law said.

“I think the group did do very well with getting what abortion is across. It is a very hard thing to see for a lot of people, but it’s not false. I mean, that is what abortion is. And so I don’t think that was necessarily a bad way to do it, but we will be doing it different this year.”

Law hopes to focus on community service and compassion this year.

“We’d love to have respectful dialogue with both sides, I don’t want to exclude anyone,” Law said.

Spring 2017 Bobcats for Life demonstration. File photo by Heather Willard.
Spring 2017 Bobcats for Life demonstration. File photo by Heather Willard.

She explained that while no events are planned yet, the group would like to host several, including monthly meetings, a medical personnel panel to discuss abortion procedures, educational programs focused on mother and baby gestational development and a respectful conversation between pro-abortion rights students and anti-abortion students.

However, Law said she wants the main focus of the group to be on community service, such as assisting mothers who are dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

Law thinks having a female president will benefit the organization, but that it shouldn’t have to be that way.  

“I think a lot of people think because (Hoback) was a male he couldn’t have certain opinions,” Law said.

“I don’t see it like that, I think anyone can have an opinion on abortion. I do think we will probably have more positive feedback with leadership being female, but I wish it wasn’t like that, because it shouldn’t be like that. I don’t think it’s a gender problem, it’s definitely just a humanity problem.”

While Bobcats for Life hasn’t partnered with any other organizations this year, Law said it “would love to.”

Law wants the group to connect with students without overstepping boundaries.

“Hopefully we’re able to be found. We want to be, but we’re not going to push ourselves down anyone’s throats,” Law said.

Law added she wanted people to know the group is focused on uniting the community, providing education about abortion and assisting mothers and children — without being as polarizing.

“I really hope what we do can inspire others to stand up for life with us but also show that we are there for the mother and the child,” Law said. “That’s the main thing that our group’s focusing on this year. We don’t want it to be a negative experience for anyone involved.”

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