I was walking toward the dining hall at my college campus last night and I see written in chalk on the ground, “A PERSON’S A PERSON NO MATTER HOW SMALL- Students for Life.” It was huge and in bright colors. You couldn’t miss it. It’s great how a pro-life group appropriated a Dr. Seuss quote completely out of context when Dr. Seuss’s widow specifically requested that people don’t “hijack Dr. Seuss characters or material to front their own points of view.” This is just one of a series of pro-life displays that I have seen over the four years I have gone to this college. The most callous exhibition of pro-life insensitivity and dishonesty was a pro-life rally my freshman year with huge pictures of bloody aborted fetuses and they compared abortion to the Holocaust on their banners. Ironically, that rally turned me pro-choice because these tasteless tactics stuck in my craw. My great-grandfather died in the Holocaust and comparing abortion to the Holocaust is extremely insensitive, as well as inaccurate.
In general, I believe that only promoting one side of an argument is harmful for progress. An informed person should hear all sides of a debate. In terms of something like abortion, it is absolutely vital for people to hear accurate information as pregnancy is a very serious matter. I support pro-choice with all of my heart, but I also believe in freedom of speech. All people should be able to express what they believe is right. With that however, the information being stated needs to be objectively true. The pro-life argument tends to skew facts and state false information. If something regarding abortion is not true, I do not think that it should be allowed to be posted. These are lives of women, and potentially the lives of babies, at risk and abortion is a medical procedure. Spreading false information about a medical procedure is extremely dangerous; it can seriously hurt, or even kill people. Somehow, however, the pro-life is allowed to do this with no checks on their statements.
In regards to the college setting, having pro-life dominate this campus can have detrimental effects on the college population, especially the women. The first thing to consider is that college students are more likely to have sex. This is a known fact, and with that comes higher risks of pregnancy. Condoms break, condoms are forgotten- life and accidents happen. We are young. Even so, I cannot live with a movement on campus that shames women for making choices about their own bodies. These women are at college to get an education. A movement that does not allow for choice could hinder women who get pregnant during their college years. Realistically, it is going to be very hard for a college student- who is pregnant- to complete her homework, projects, and exams with the hardships that come with pregnancy. If you choose that responsibility for yourself, that is fine- but no woman should ever feel forced from the peers who surround her to make the same decision.
Having pro-life ideology dominate my campus like this just scares me. I live in New Jersey and thankfully there are no abortion restrictions here; we in many of the states are lucky for that. Even so, I believe that the reason why people specifically are not pro-choice is that they feel abortion restrictions “won’t happen here”. We have the incorrect, subconscious thought that Texas is thousands of miles away and “those people are extreme conservatives”. Complacency is wrong, though, for there are people out there trying to take away the fundamental right of abortion. I see it all the time. Those people could elect representatives who could write in legislation to restrict abortions that have the potential to ultimately pass. Activism is an ever-going struggle that does not end when the legislation gets put into place.
College is a microcosm of the real world. These pro-lifers who are so active in college are going to go out and promote those ideas when they graduate. I have a mighty need for the advocacy of pro-choice as well as the education of abortion to students, yet none seems to exist on campus. Perhaps it is my responsibility to be the pro-choice voice on campus. If I won’t do it, who will?