More than 2,200 schools are projected to have participated on Tuesday during the annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, with students wearing red tape across their mouths or armbands displaying the word "Life" in an effort to encourage discussions on abortion.
Organizers of the event want to bring attention to the over 50 million babies aborted in the United States since the practice became legal with the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. They also claim that over 4,000 children are aborted every day, which also causes emotional damage to the mothers.
"If you have a group of 10, 15 kids talking about something on a campus, it's no big deal; you get a few people that'll listen to it," said Bryan Kemper, founder and president of Stand True Ministries, who started the event in 2004. "But if you get that same group of kids refusing to say a word and just remain silent all day, everybody wants to know why and it becomes the most talked-about thing on campus. By them being silent, it's actually speaking louder than any words can."
The Day of Silent Solidarity has since spread to over 4,800 schools in 25 different countries. Kemper notes that each year, his organization hears back from at least 60 girls who say that they have decided to cancel their abortions as a result of the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity.
One student participating at the event, Laura Weieneth, a senior from Iowa State University, commented that the event brings the issue to the forefront of people's thoughts and forces them to think about the babies that never get a chance to live.
"It was a good experience for me to participate in it, just to really think about the issue, and it's really sobering when you realize how many children are being aborted and treated as less than human," Weieneth told the Iowa State Daily.
The student remarked that with the presidential elections coming up, it was important that students are also educated on what the candidates each propose to do about abortion.
"This isn't necessarily a political event, but it obviously relates to politics," Weieneth said. "I think something as important as the equal right to life of every human being should definitely be a consideration in politics."
As The Christian Post details in a report comparing each candidate's position on abortion, President Barack Obama has promised to defend Roe vs. Wade and a woman's right to choose what she does with her pregnancy, while GOP candidate Mitt Romney plans to overturn the controversial Supreme Court decision and only allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger.