On the Gainesville State College Student Center stage, school club Pulse Pro-Life hosted its third annual Life Day Wednesday afternoon to spread awareness about the controversial issue of abortion.
Pulse Pro-Life, along with several other pro-life organizations, organized several educational booths and informational speakers for the day.
"Our goal is to educate and persuade," said Joshua Edmonds, senior minister for Pulse Pro-Life Ministries. "If people are informed, hopefully they'll make informed and better decisions."
"We are representing pro-life," said Barbara Jackson, ministry outreach director of Hall County Right to Life.
"Life is what God ordained ... this is all about life."
Free literature, newsletters and fetal models covered the tables where students and their fellow activists raised awareness. For the time that they were up, they were bustling centers of discussion and debate.
"We get to engage with students all day," said Bryan Kemper, founder of Rock for Life and Stand True Ministries. "I love to talk to students and young people."
As a graduate from GSC, Edmonds thinks the Student Center is one of the best kinds of places to host this style of event.
After the speakers spoke, Pulse Pro-Life hosted an open access question-and-answer session with all of the speakers. Questions were accepted at the event and over email for a week before Life Day.
It's that very ease and access that made the Student Center perfect, Edmonds said. Instead of having a closed off meeting room that might intimidate people and isolate certain beliefs, the Student Center is an open cafeteria with a stage fit for sharing information.
"They can get their food and listen while they eat," Edmonds said. "They don't have to engage, but they can still get informed. As voting young people, we have to understand what's going on."
College students, some say, are an excellent target demographic for rallies that surround an issue linked with unplanned pregnancies, an often unfortunate side effect of college life.
"College students are the most likely candidates for abortions," said Pulse Pro-Life president Kelly Johnson.
When it comes to the abortion issue, however, things are often more complex than they appear. When they call themselves pro-life, there's more than what is normally thought of.
"They think pro-life is just a belief against abortion," said Elizabeth Nafziger, GSC graduate and former president of Pulse Pro-Life. "But it's much more than that."
The central question for pro-life philosophy isn't even about abortion, she said. Instead, Johnson asks, "What is life and should we manipulate it?"
Their answers to the question were discussed in presentations by four professional speakers including Edmonds.
"I really went into it philosophically," Edmonds said. "I tried to make a case for the personhood of the fetus."
Catherine Davis, legislative director for Network of Politically Active Christians, presented an often unexplored racial perspective.
"In the state, 60 percent of abortions are had by black women," Davis said. "The abortionists won't tell you that."
Other speakers included Bryan Kemper, who statistically compared abortion to the Holocaust, and Christina Martin, an abortion survivor who runs Bound4LIFE Atlanta.
Pulse Pro-Life and guests were pleased with the outcome of this year's Life Day.
"From what we're told, Life Day is the biggest student-run event without school support on campus," Edmonds said.
"Hopefully, we'll have similar events in churches and community centers next year."