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
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
“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
I really would like to think so, I told her, although I am not
It seems that since our generation does not remember society
before women’s reproductive freedom, we have dropped into a state
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
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
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
Vote pro-choice, visit
“http://www.naral.org”>www.naral.orgto 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.