Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Princeton Pro-Life revived post-Dobbs

A large banner that reads "Princeton Pro-Life," with a blurred group of students in the foreground
Students hold up a Princeton Pro-Life banner at a counter-protest in 2022.
Candace Do / The Daily Princetonian

The Princeton Pro-Life Club (PPL) has experienced a revival over the course of the past academic year. The group has hosted over 16 events this year — including speaker events, dinners, and trips — and has an 89-person membership on their GroupMe.

On April 23, the PPL hosted an end-of-the-year Student-Faculty reception featuring a speech from professor Robert P. George. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and serves as director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. About 40 people stood in a circle in the Campus Club dining room as George spoke about his personal experience with the pro-life movement and PPL’s accomplishments. 


George declined to comment on the event.

At the reception, Abigail Readlinger ’27 spoke to the ‘Prince’ about her membership in PPL and being pro-life on a majority pro-choice campus.

“I definitely feel that I’m able to speak out. I don’t have any fear … Obviously, there’s going to be people who disagree with you, but it doesn’t discourage me in my belief at all,” she said.

President Nadia Makuc ’26 told the ‘Prince’ that the club had been around since at least the 1990s.

According to Makuc, former President Brielle Kelly ’24 asked her to become the president for the organization over the summer, and Makuc, after accepting, felt she “wanted to do more with [the organization]” given the “relatively big pro-life community on campus.” 

Makuc said the main goals for the group were “educating [themselves] and others” and “building a culture of life for mothers and others.” This year, the group’s activities included visits to 40 Days for Life, a pro-life organization that organizes 40-day, 24-hour prayer vigils outside abortion centers, making care packages for local pregnancy centers, and babysitting for teen mothers with the YoungLives organization. 


Makuc emphasized that the group is “not political or religious.”

“Most of our members are religious, that is just how it turns out, but it is not as if we don’t have people who aren’t [religious],” Makuc said. “There is quite a diversity of Catholics and Protestants and people who go to different churches,” she added.

She also said that while “most [club members] were praying” during the group’s visit to Planned Parenthood, she said it is enough “to have a presence.” 

“It’s not a mainstream position, but there’s definitely a lot of people out there who are pro-life and are definitely willing to listen to the views that we have,” she said.

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

Benjamin Woodard ’25 attended the protest, and also helped organize PPL’s trip to the March for Life conference in January and has been involved in the club since his first year at Princeton. According to Woodard, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the club has pivoted to “building a culture of life nationally.

“[The goal is] to support mothers, especially mothers in difficult circumstances, to support and protect unborn life [and] make abortion unthinkable, not just legislatively, but in the cultural mindset, in the cultural milieu,” he said.

Woodard’s experience being pro-life on a mostly pro-choice campus “has actually been pretty positive,” but he acknowledged that this is not a universal experience.

“I think there are many folks who show up to campus and their friend groups, their roommates, people in their zee group, are much more hostile to any expression of pro-life views, socially conservative views, and so reduce them generally,” Woodard said. “I think that shapes people’s perception of what discourse looks like at Princeton, and how much of a stigma it may attach to you if you associate yourself with a group like PPL or some of the other conservative groups — not to lump PPL in with that entirely,” he added.

Woodard clarified that PPL members are not necessarily conservative and that many people who are not otherwise political are involved in the club, but noted, “I’m conservative, I’m involved in many other conservative groups on campus, I’m editor-in-chief of the [Princeton] Tory this semester. I’m definitely involved out of that larger ideological alignment.”

One of the benefits of PPL for Woodard is encouraging people to share views that go against the grain of campus through social events.

“You come, you’re hanging out, you talk to your friends, people you may know from religious life or whatever else on campus, [which] shows you that there’s a stronger presence here than you may have been led to believe,” he said.

Makuc emphasized the importance of engaging with those with opposing viewpoints, saying, “If you haven’t talked to someone who is pro-life about why they are pro-life, do it.”

“I’ve learned so much from talking to people who are pro-choice, and I think finding common ground is so important … I have my own reasons and personal experiences and I think it is helpful to have that dialogue,” she said.

Nandini Krishnan is a senior News writer for the ‘Prince.’

Olivia Sanchez is an associate News editor for the ‘Prince.’

Please send any corrections to corrections[at]