Club Controversy: Students For Life?


Photo by: Raegan Calvo

*disclaimer* The Roar does not condone or encourage hate and violence towards any political views amongst students and faculty at Potomac Falls High School. The author does not agree with the political views stated in this article, but is written from a non-bias standpoint for informational value only. 

Extremely popular amongst the students at PFHS, the annual event known as Fair at the Falls took place on Sep. 9, 2022. Students were able to socialize with friends and peers before the football game later that evening. Imagine there is music blasting, clubs advertising their booths for other students, games are being played and the students at Potomac Falls collectively are having a good time. But when you walk towards the entrance of the school, there are tons of students surrounding a certain booth and as you pass, you hear a heated debate taking place. 

Students For Life is a club that was founded at the start of the school year by sophomore Elizabeth Webb. The club was created in support of pro-life ideologies and supports the idea that abortion access should be restricted. The case that protects the right to get an abortion in America, known as Roe v. Wade, has sparked much controversy as its overturning is taking place after a supreme court decision made on June 24, 2022. 

Abortion can be a very complicated topic of debate because it involves different concepts that can contradict each other, like religion and science. “I definitely know that this is a controversial idea. I already have people that don’t like me very much… I’m definitely willing to stand for this because I think it is right,” said Webb.

Webb attempted to start the club in her freshman year but was unsuccessful. “I was definitely interested in starting this club because kids need to know about this sort of thing, sooner rather than later,” said Webb.

Since Webb was young, she was immersed into the politics of what it means to be pro-life by her family members. “Pro-life means to me that we have to be able to protect the mom and the child,” said Webb. 

SCA president, junior Arjun Setty was seen at the booth speaking to the founder of the club. Like many students, groups of people were attracted to the club and the message that it conveyed, whether their reactions were negative or positive towards the topic. “I know I might not particularly agree with their beliefs, but I was curious to learn more,” said Setty.

One argument that is the center of moderates’ views is that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Setty expresses his opinion on this view in regards to pro-life vs. pro-choice arguments. “Although we might not agree with them, and although they probably don’t make sense 100% of the time, it’s a good thing to have people visit [issues] like these,” said Setty. 

Student Activities and Engagement Coordinator of PFHS, Michaela Ottenberg witnessed the debates that took place at the Students For Life club booth at Fair at the Falls. Ottenberg instructed the students crowding around who were trying to speak with Webb not to fight the founder about this issue. “I had a lot of students afterwards approach me that didn’t feel similarly. I hope that those students organize [a club] if that’s what they want, I will always support student choice,” said Ottenberg.

In the world today, teenagers are heavily involved in politics and global issues, abortion being one of many. “Especially Gen Z, it is a very active generation. That’s what I love most about teaching and being in a high school these days is that students do feel very strongly about the issues,” said Ottenberg. 

In the making of this article, three different people from different points of view on the topic of abortion were interviewed. Although all three have extremely different opinions on this topic, they all had a common theme: A community needs diversity in beliefs and thinking in order to succeed, even if there is disagreement.