Junior Ann Marie Bottita Uses Falcons for Life Club to Represent “People Whose Voices Aren’t Being Able to Be Heard”


Sam Hull

Junior Ann Marie Bottita began the Falcons for Life club at the beginning of this school year.

Kendall Whiteside, Staff Reporter

Junior Ann Marie Bottita has overcome many obstacles by forming a club for a topic that is sometimes hard to talk about, but that she feels is an important issue that needs to be addressed.

By running the Falcons for Life club at La Salle, Bottita aims to create a safe and welcoming place for pro-life advocates, who have the opinion that all living babies should be brought to term regardless of the situation that occurred for a new child to enter the world.

The club began in September, and there are currently 14 members, with a smaller number taking on a more active role. In addition to their club meetings, they “also do informative tables during lunches,” she said. “This year we had tables talking about ways to support pregnant and parenting students and about the question of when life begins.”

“In eighth grade, I went to a retreat called LifeSavers Retreat, and they talked a lot about a lot of different life issues and it really impacted me,” Bottita said. “I ended up volunteering there my freshman, sophomore, junior [year], and I will next year too. Some of the leaders there encouraged me to start up a club.”

Because abortion is a controversial topic, Bottita has faced challenges with creating and maintaining the club.

“Starting the club was actually pretty easy because I mean, we’re a Catholic school and they supported it,” she said. “The hardest part was definitely the people around me. I got a lot of discouraging comments and stuff from people, and I still do today.”

While organizing this club Bottita has taken her passion to the next level by getting introduced to the Students for Life fellowship that she will be joining this summer in Washington D.C. for a training and mentorship.

She was introduced to this fellowship by Nicole Bentz, who is the club’s moderator, and the regional manager for Students for Life. Bentz’s role has been guiding Bottita “with planning events, providing trainings, and overall just being there” for the club whenever they need assistance, she said.

Bottita says that one teacher that has really been open to hearing her story, and someone she has really connected with, is Mr. Darmody.

Despite the challenges Bottita has faced in forming this club, she said that she has also learned a very important lesson. “Everyone has a lot of opinions and they have legitimate reasons for those opinions,” she said. “If we ever want to make changes in the world we have to start listening and having important conversations with each other.”

Bottita has always been a pro-life supporter, and even though she did not know a lot about the topic until eighth grade, her passion has only grown from there. In particular, learning “that there is life present at conception… brought a whole new perspective,” she said.

“I support [the pro-life viewpoint] because there’s a lot of [unborn babies] whose voices aren’t being able to be heard, specifically the [children] in the womb,” Bottita said. One question that particularly drives her support for being pro-life is, “why was I given a chance, but [other babies] weren’t?”

One particular issue that Bottita said is a challenge is the media’s representation of the pro-life movement.

“They make it seem like we hate women, and that we want to control their bodies,” she said. “I can kind of understand [that position] if you don’t recognize that there’s life in the womb… I feel like we just all need to know the right information about each other.”

Although Bottita can’t persuade everyone to see her side of the pro-life argument, she asks that people who are considering an abortion think about “what’s actually happening.” She wants people to think of the other options that are available after birth such as trying “to find people that support you.” She says this is one of the reasons that everyone should as a community build a stronger bond “that’s willing to support women who are able to have these babies,” Bottita said.

Recently several states have moved to severely limit or even ban abortions, such as Alabama and Louisiana. Bottita believes that laws like these should be passed later on, when there is stronger support network for after an unwanted child is born, because right now “there’s not enough support and care after the baby is born.”

She is afraid that bans like these being proposed at this moment could scare women and cause them to do something unsafe for them and/or their baby. Bottita thinks that if we are able to strengthen the care that is provided after the baby is born, “then we could safely remove or make abortion illegal.”

Bottita does believe in restricting the time frame for legal abortion. “I definitely think [that] shortening the span of when you can get [an abortion]” is important, she said.

In many states there are different standards and regulations on abortions and this results in inconsistent laws throughout the country.

“Because human life starts when it does, it’s not different for everybody else, so if we were to put different time stamps on it, it just, it would be very unfair,” she said.

Bottita acknowledges that there are certain situations where women did not have the choice to become pregnant, “but neither did the child… and they shouldn’t be punished,” she said. She also said that by rape victims having the child they are able to have physical proof of the crime and proceed to get justice for the crime.

When the child is born, that means that the guy can’t get away with it,” she said. Because if the woman just is able to have an abortion, he could just clear it up and make it seem like nothing ever happened. Fighting for the life of both the woman and the child is [important].”

Bottita recognizes that not everyone supports the same side she does. But she asks that pro-choice people realize that there “is an undeniable life in the womb, and [unborn babies are] being treated like they aren’t human, or they aren’t actually living.”

She thinks that if more people were able to acknowledge this then there wouldn’t be so much controversy about this issue. Instead, she said that the energy currently going into this debate could be used to find support for mothers and children in need after birth.

Bottita strongly believes that everyone, from both sides of the argument, “are fighting for the same thing,” she said. “We both want care for women and children, and we all want the best situation to come out of this.”

She states that once each side can recognize this about each other everyone on each side of the argument can have discussions about making changes rather than “having pointless debates.” Bottita wants everyone involved with this movement to understand that those who are taking part in this topic are doing so because they care and want to make changes.

“The way that we can do that is by actually talking to each other and finding out what’s the best thing that we can do,” Bottita said.

Ultimately, Bottita continues to support the pro-life movement “because there’s a lot of people whose voices aren’t [being heard], specifically, the people in the womb… they are not really getting a chance,” Bottia said. “Everyone goes through stuff, and some people aren’t able to make it out alive.”