Chalk it to me: Cats for Life shares pro-life message through sidewalk chalk

K-State students chalk the grounds of Bosco Plaza to promote different events and organizations on Oct. 15, 2017. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The pro-life, anti-abortion student organization Cats for Life is on a mission to educate the public on abortion. Their most famous method? Sidewalk chalk.

Abbie Lane, president of Cats for Life and sophomore in communication sciences and disorders, said she wants students at Kansas State to understand the consequences of abortion and how utilizing the organization’s resources can enlighten pregnant women to decide against abortion.

“The main purpose of Cats for Life is to educate on the reality of abortion and support pregnant or parenting students at KSU,” Lane said. “Because there are so many misconceptions about the matters surrounding abortion, I want CFL to be a movement that educates, gives guidance and conclusively makes a difference in a woman’s life.”

Cats for Life is an on-campus, independent student organization that claims no political or religious affiliation. The club has over 25 active members and regularly holds meetings open to the public.

Jeff Madison, Cats for Life co-volunteer chair and junior in mass communications, said he joined the organization in the fall of 2016 after he was introduced by friends.

“I am very firm in my stance, so I knew I wanted to be a part of a platform where I could share my voice,” Madison said.

In addition to chalking sidewalks on campus and setting up booths in the Student Union, Cats for Life is routinely contacted by Students for Life in America, an organization that trains pro-life leaders, to bring more direct and attention-grabbing displays to campus.

Lane said the chalked sidewalks many have seen on campus recently were part of a National Pro-Life Chalk Day organized by Students for Life in America.

“Chalking the sidewalks is fun and a good way to bond as a club,” Lane said.

Lane said the organization gets the most interaction from people on the other side of the aisle who disagree with their beliefs. Members agree that it is easy to overstate opinions in person.

“It’s sometimes hard because such a mix of students see these displays,” Lane said. “Still, we see a lot of support from students and people have come to really respect our club and what we stand for.”

Cats for Life distances itself from pro-life groups and movements that seek to condemn or antagonize, Lane said. Their first order remains to be empathetic while advocating against abortion, although they will continue to stand up for their beliefs in controversial situations.

Lane said the organization frequently works with Life Choice Ministries and stays “in touch” with K-State’s Center for Advocacy, Response and Education.

“We volunteer with Life Choice Ministries once a month to make baby clothes and other items available to expecting mothers at no cost,” Lane said. “We are also working toward partnering with Lafene Health Center to make resources and information as widely available as possible.”

Lane said Cats for Life tries to educate expecting mothers before life-changing decisions are made in order to prevent any trauma, depression or anxiety that could result because of an abortion.

“Listening with empathy, as well as an open heart and ear is the most important to us,” Lane said.

With abortion being such a divisive issue, Cats for Life is focused on people, interactions and conversations in hopes of establishing a comfortable setting for all K-State students.

“Abortion is such a polarized and controversial issue,” Madison said. “The last thing we want to do is come off in a hateful or misunderstood way for preaching our values.”

Cats for Life is hosting Amy Murphy, a speaker from Philadelphia, on April 10. Murphy is speaking on “Embracing the ‘F’ Word” and what it means to be a pro-life feminist. Cats for Life also participates in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. every year.

Students that are interested in joining Cats for Life or that have questions can check the organization’s K-State OrgSync page to reach out to other members.