Pro-Life Influence On My Campus

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?

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One response to “Pro-Life Influence On My Campus

  1. First off, you’re a clear and direct writer with a real voice that comes through. You’ve got some provocative prose, fempowerment.
    And I remember when I went to college, the exact same display that disgusted me as well. And how it seemed that young women were being targeted as murderers for situations where they had definite accomplices (the men who had sex with them!). It was frustrating and unfair.
    So please don’t think I am attacking you when I say that some of your bold statements, while bold and written nicely, are a bit hypocritical. I know you’re not asking for a writing lesson, so I understand if you don’t want to keep this comment. Just perhaps consider the following:

    1. Can we depend on the opinion of a writer’s widow to accurately depict the writer’s opinion of his work?
    1a. Isn’t that quote a much more preferable form of protest to be used by people of this opinion than the gory images? Which form of protest is permissable for these people to use? None? But you say you believe in free speech!
    2. Not all pro-life people would support the graphic display comparing it to the Holocaust and you should not let a faction decide your opinion for you by deciding that this display was so offensive that you would adopt the opposite opinion in protest as you say ” Ironically, that rally turned me pro-choice because these tasteless tactics stuck in my craw.” Perhaps it was just the final push you needed, but I think it shows a lack of detachment and a bit of naivete.
    3. You say that “In general, I believe that only promoting one side of an argument is harmful for progress,” yet you do not state ONE THING in promotion for pro-life in the entire article.
    4. I may be wrong, but the comic you included seems to be a political commentary on the relationship between many pro-life supporters who also support the right to bear arms. So it is both irrelevant and ties in with my 1st point that you are again being hypocritical by using somebody’s art to support your own ideas, which you seem to think is wrong (or is that only when the spouse of the artist seems to think so?).

    I know, I am a bitch. But I hope you know it’s because I love your writing and you seem fierce as hell. Just think of it as prep for when you take over the pro-choice scene on your campus. Good luck, and by the way, I am pro-choice as well.

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