Tigers for Life, an organization that promotes pro-life values, is new to Trinity’s campus this fall. Luke Ayers, a first year and undeclared major, is leading the organization as the founder and president.
The purpose of Tigers for Life outlined within their constitution states, “Members of Tigers for Life work to save innocent human lives threatened by induced abortion, euthanasia and the destruction of human embryos for research.”
Tigers for Life have gained 15 members so far, according to Daniela Trevino, the vice-president of Tigers for Life and a first year international business major.
Tigers for Life is a non-partisan, non-faith based organization, according to Ayers.
“We want to show that being pro-life doesn’t just mean being pro-birth and then leaving the mother on her own to deal with the child. But it means choosing life for their children in the most loving option, the easiest option,” Ayers said. “To be pro-life you don’t have to be a conservative Christian. It’s something that has appeal across all faiths or lack of faith and all across the political spectrum.”
Esther Kim, coordinator for student programs for Student Involvement, approved Tigers for Life as an organization on October 15.
“Student Involvement is a very open and supportive department on campus that encourages all students based on their interests or passions to form an organization,” Kim said. “Even though this may be a controversial topic, we support all organizations in their mission and their values.”
Tigers for Life is expected to spark discourse on campus, according to Trevino.
“It definitely is a controversial topic, so I think it will get a bunch of people talking. Not necessarily good things, but I definitely think they’re going to talk about both sides of it,” Trevino said.
Ayers aligned with the pro-choice ideology until recently, when he connected with the pro-life movement.
“I’m fairly new to seeing things this way. Up until two years ago, I was very much pro-choice. I started seeing that it’s not a question of women’s rights but human rights,” Ayers said.
Ayers describes the transformation of his views towards abortion.
“As I was thinking about abortion, I couldn’t follow my own line of reasoning anymore. Every distinction I made that said “˜the fetus is a person at this point but not after this point’ or “˜they’re deserving of protection after this point but not after this point.’ Any distinction that I could place or qualification that it was permitted, they were all so arbitrary, I couldn’t be honest with myself and say that this is a logical place to draw the line,” Ayers said.
Tigers for Life promotes life during all phases and makes no term distinctions, according to Ayers.
“The only difference among the terms “˜embryo,’ “˜fetus,’ “˜infant,’ “˜toddler’ and “˜teenager’ is the stage of growth as a human being they’re at and where they happen to be living at that moment. I don’t think either of those things are distinctions that justify taking their life,” Ayers said.
Ayers further described the explained that there are no exceptions for abortion.
“I think any exceptions to the rule, with rape and incest being the two most common ones, to me the arguments to allowing abortions in those cases does not match up with restricting abortion in other cases. The child shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their parents,” Ayers said.
Ayers and Trevino both received training from Texas Right to Life in preparation for their organization.
The purpose statement further outlines the goals of the organization.
“To further these goals, members seek to promote respect for life at Trinity University and in the city of San Antonio, to educate on life issues, to help those in need so that life is a promising choice, and to work with others who share common goals,” according to the organization.
Tiger for Life hopes to promote other pro-life issues outside of abortion.
“Within the pro-life movement it’s difficult to ignore the other pro-life issues like people with physical or intellectual disabilities not being respected because of those disabilities, or people at the end of their life not being treated with the respect that they’re due because of their age or their income,” Ayers said.
The organization is planning to volunteer at a low-income nursing home later this year.
“It’s easy for people within the pro-life movement to focus only on abortion and that’s kind of a dangerous mindset to get into because you focus on one thing and ignore the other pressing issues,” said Ayers.
Ayers noted that Tigers for Life aims to start a conversation regarding abortion on campus that is respectful.
“One thing I really want to focus on is that people on both sides of the issue don’t make personal attacks and that they stay respectful of people on both sides as fellow Trinity students and human beings. So far people have been very respectful,” Ayers said.