Note: The terms “pro-lifer” and “pro-choicer” are used throughout this article purely for the sake of brevity and are not, in any way, intended to belittle either side.
The controversial topic of abortion has, for a long time, been argued back and forth at CSU.
A recent example of this is the controversy generated by Justice For All’s pro-life displays in the Plaza on April 11 and 12 and a pro-choice counter-demonstration by the Campus Feminist Alliance and Students Uniting for Reproductive Justice.
Given the slogans coming from pro-choicers, it is obvious that some misunderstand pro-lifers’ position, and it is necessary to clear up a few misconceptions. I invite pro-choice people to reciprocate with an article of their own in order to clear up misconceptions that pro-lifers may have about their position. I hope that this will contribute to more civil discussions on this controversial topic.
First of all, opposition to abortion is not about religion. Even though many pro-life groups are religious, there are secular groups who oppose abortion. One such group is Secular Prolife, which recently had a table at the Convention of American Atheists that was intended to raise awareness of the cause of pro-life atheists. On Secular Prolife’s website, Secularprolife.org, the organization uses the American Constitution, human ethics on the right to life and appeals to the protection of women’s psychological health to justify its pro-life stance without appealing to any religion.
Pro-lifers, both religious and nonreligious, believe that abortion is wrong because it violates the right to life that is inherent to all human beings, not because of a religious rule.
Second, opposition to abortion is not about women’s rights. Most pro-lifers are not advocating discrimination against women in other arenas, such as voting or employment. If pro-lifers were really opposed to women’s rights, it would seem logical that they would also oppose a woman’s right to vote or right to equal pay.
Pro-lifers oppose abortion because it takes away the right to life of an unborn child. They do not see abortion as a right that women have, but rather a denial of rights to another human being. Certain pro-life organizations, such as Feminists For Life, even consider abortion to be a violent, terrible choice that forces a woman to choose between her career and her child. They believe that abortion does little more than reinforce the belief that pregnant women are not useful in the workforce. This organization accuses the abortion industry of attempting to make money off of women’s pain and suffering and advocates a change in societal attitudes toward pregnant women, as well as assistance for women who are in a state of pregnancy.
It must be noted that in some countries where women are held to be of little value, mothers are sometimes forced to abort their female children. Abortion can be used as a tool to coerce women and reduce their numbers in a society.
Because of the abuse of human rights that it causes, the argument that abortion should be left up to personal choice is not valid. This sort of logic works for what kind of food you want to eat, what kind of car you want to drive and what gender you want to marry. It is not valid in a situation where somebody’s right to life is being violated.
Mark Gudeman is a sophomore history major.