Free choice for women
March 2, 2007
In the Feb. 20 issue of The Flat Hat, Public Affairs officer of Students for Life Beth Zagrobelny described the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in the column, “Positive shift for pro-life.” It described an important change in the pro-life movement, putting an emphasis on the negative effects of abortion on women.
p. First, I would like to say that while I am pro-choice, I decided long ago that I personally would never get an abortion. I understand the potential physical and emotional consequences enough to know that I do not want to put myself through that. However, I respect that other women may make a different choice. Though I was raised as a Catholic, this has never been a religious issue for me. I still believe that for some women, abortion is the best choice for them at the time.
p. When I mentioned to a friend that my column this week would be about abortion, she immediately shot me a look, urging me to pick another topic. Abortion has always been one of those extremely touchy issues that people try to stay away from, especially in print. A lot of people hold a very strong stance on the issue, rooted to the core of their moral beliefs, so it is highly unlikely they will be persuaded to believe otherwise.
p. Overall, I think the Silent No More Awareness Campaign represents a very positive shift in the pro-life movement. It is important that women understand the consequences they might face if they choose to have an abortion. There are many emotional effects that most women are not aware of and cannot predict prior to having an abortion — every woman reacts differently.
p. The campaign also provides women who have had abortions a voice in the debate. I am much more willing to hear pro-life arguments from women who have actually faced the decision, rather than from a man who is incapable of ever truly understanding.
p. I think it is also important to acknowledge that whether or not abortion is legal, women will continue to get abortions. Prior to Roe v. Wade, thousands of women got abortions under the table and many died as a result; it is much safer if women are able to go to legal clinics with trained professionals. In this case, the practicality of the law may be more important than the morality of it.
p. The truth is, people make bad decisions every day. Whether we choose to smoke, drink or remain in an abusive relationship, we know the consequences and yet we continue to make the same decisions. The same principles can be applied to abortion. Campaigns should work to inform women of the potential consequences of abortion, but at the end of the day the decision should be left to the woman. As long as we are well informed of all other options and the consequences, we should trust that each individual will make the decision that is right for herself.
p. While many women may regret their choices to have an abortion, I’m guessing you could find a large number who don’t; not everyone falls into depression. If a woman gets pregnant, fully aware that she cannot support a child, abortion may be the best option. Abortion is by no means a black and white issue. If it were, there would not be so much controversy around it. Overall, the issue of abortion represents a very important debate for our generation as we approach a time when Roe v. Wade is being speculated by the Supreme Court.
p. __Rachael Siemon-Carome, a freshman at the College, is a Staff Columnist. Her columns appear every Friday.__