Nov 302003
 
Authors: J.J. Babb

American women are facing a future without choices.

The present government, both the Colorado and the United States,

continue to pass bills and laws restricting women’s reproductive

rights. In the past month, the U.S. government put a ban on

partial-birth abortions, without leaving an exception for women at

risk of dying while carrying a child and Colorado put into effect a

bill demanding parental notification for teen women’s

abortions.

These bills concern me, but what I desperately worry about is

the lack of outrage and support for the pro-choice movement by

young women and men. According to the 2001 Gallop Poll, the

percentage of people labeling themselves “pro-life” rose from 33

percent to 43 percent, while those describing themselves

“pro-choice” fell from 56 percent to 48 percent since 2000.

Why are the numbers of pro-lifers declining? Are younger women

taking the place of those around who remember life before Roe v.

Wade? Do we, as a younger generation, feel more apathy because we

don’t remember what it was like to not have the responsibility of

our own body?

When I called the national center for NARAL Pro-Choice America

(formerly The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action

League) and asked these exact questions, no one could give me the

answers. Instead, the deputy communication director, Evelyn Becker,

asked me why I thought my generation was apathetic about

reproductive rights.

“We (NARAL Pro-Choice America) are certainly aware of it as an

issue and are attempting to correct it,” she said. “Our main goal

is to uphold Roe and to protect the right to choose. We also

support women’s reproductive health.”

Becker then asked for my help. She wanted to know if people on

our campus would support a pro-choice rally, or organize behind

emergency contraceptives.

I really would like to think so, I told her, although I am not

sure.

It seems that since our generation does not remember society

before women’s reproductive freedom, we have dropped into a state

of apathy.

Yes, abortion is not the best form of birth control. Yes, it

emotionally damages many women. Yes, there are dozens of other

birth control methods to use, including emergency contraceptives

available at Planned Parenthood and the Larimer County Health

Department.

But the choice of abortion should be left up to each individual

woman, based on her individual situation, not the government’s

choice, especially a government dominated by men.

If abortion becomes illegal, the country will be sliding

backward and leaving women with fewer reproductive rights. Already

86 percent of counties in the U.S. have no doctors who perform

abortions (NARAL Pro-Choice America). With the way our country is

headed, soon there will be no doctors who perform abortions

anywhere, and illegal abortions will be the only option for women

wanting to end pregnancy.

We know, from facts, illegal abortion only leads to more

needless deaths. According to the World Health Organizations,

unsafe, illegal abortions around the world cause thousands of

deaths each year, amounting to approximately a woman dying ever 7

minutes due to an abortion and seriously injuring thousands

more.

To counteract our government’s fight against our rights and our

own generation, we must stand up for our reproductive rights.

Whether or not we believe abortion is right, or wrong, is not up to

the government to decide, it should remain up to each individual

woman. We need to make our own choices, not have them made for

us.

Vote pro-choice, visit

“http://www.naral.org”>www.naral.org to become more involved,

protest government actions against women’s rights, and voice your

opinion publicly and in your private life.

Let those close to you know you want to make your own decisions

and trust other women to make theirs.

J.J. is a senior studying journalism. She is the design managing

editor for The Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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