Kerry Ashkenaze always tacitly supported the pro-life movement. However, it was not until this school year that the junior at Georgetown University became actively involved. And she’s done it in a big way. 

Shortly after becoming a volunteer for Georgetown’s Right to Life club, where the JSerra alum helped organize “diaper drives,” she was invited to be a part of the Catholic-focused Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, the largest student pro-life conference in the country. 

The Laguna Niguel native, an undergraduate in the School of Foreign Service and member of Catholic Ministry at the university, said she decided she could no longer just sit on the sidelines. 

“I wanted to actualize my beliefs and make it more about action than just advocacy,” she said. 

In short fashion, Ashkenaze became the sponsorship chair of the conference, in its 21st year at Georgetown. It is up to her to help figure out how to pay for the daylong event Saturday, January 25. 

This year, the conference will be held one day after the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. The March for Life is the largest pro-life event in the world, with estimates ranging anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 attendees. The conference traditionally is scheduled within a day of the march. In turn, the march is held near the anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, allowing women the right to choose whether to have abortions. 

As a high school student at JSerra, Ashkenaze said pro-life policies weren’t discussed in depth. However, in college, she ran into a different world and divergent beliefs. 

“I found in high school it was implied that we were pro-life,” she said. “In college, I realized how many people are pro-choice.” 

She also discovered what she believed were misconceptions and stigma about what pro-life advocates believe. She wanted others to know it was about more than just being anti-abortion. According to Ashkenazi, pro-life branches into anti-death penalty advocacy, health care, poverty, migrants and the elderly. 

“I want to be part of the movement that seeks to provide these and other equally important groups with nonviolent resources and assistance that honor and celebrate the inherent dignity of every individual life,” she said. 

Full story at OC Catholic.