Amid a background of graphic images depicting aborted fetuses
Tuesday on the Lory Student Center Plaza, abortion discussions
centered on the question of when life begins.
Justice For All, an anti-abortion non-CSU organization, as well
as abortion rights groups, such as Life and Liberty for Women, have
been voicing their opinions, presenting information and engaging
students in discussions on the Plaza since Monday.
“The position of Life and Liberty for Women is that each woman
should have the right to decide for herself when life begins based
on her own set of religious and moral values,” said Peggy Loonan,
the organization’s director and founder. “It should not be based on
However, JFA supports the scientific definition of the beginning
of life – the development of a human being begins with
fertilization, a process where a sperm unites with an ovum.
“If the decision of when life begins was left up to the
individual, we would have chaos in our society,” said Tammy Cook,
the director of field operations and spokeswoman for JFA.
Meagan Hoff, a sophomore zoology major, disagreed.
“Life begins when the baby can survive on its own; when the
fetus is independent of its mother,” Hoff said.
Abortion rights groups present on campus emphasized that
anti-abortionists invade a woman’s privacy and that the government
has no place in a woman’s personal health decisions.
“As long as the fetus is in her body, it’s her choice what she
wants to do,” said Sarah Stremming, a freshman psychology
JFA strongly supports adoption for unwanted babies and parenting
without violence. As for the issue of an unwanted baby conceived
during a rape, JFA asks people to consider if there is any
difference between a baby conceived in hate and a baby conceived in
Still, heated discussions prevailed, as abortion rights groups
rallied that it should be an individual choice.
“What a woman does with her body is none of (the government’s)
business. If you don’t believe abortion is OK, then don’t have one.
Religious organizations such as Justice For All, who graces us with
their gruesome, over-the-top visual assault on campus have no
foundation to stand on once you take away the moral or religious
argument. Come to me with an argument that has nothing to do with
religion and morality and I’ll be open to listening,” said Jennifer
Williams, an abortion rights activist.
The issue of making abortion illegal was equally heated.
Life and Liberty for Women emphasized keeping abortion legal for
the health and safety of women, Loonan said. She said making
abortion illegal will not stop abortion from happening, nor will it
“It will make it more dangerous for women. There is a better
way, which is through reducing unintended pregnancies,” Loonan
On the other side, Cook explained that JFA does not push for
“Our goal is not to make abortion illegal. We’re here for
educational purposes,” Cook said.
While the two women believe in different ideals, Loonan still
believes there are issues to be discussed regarding sexuality.
“There clearly is a problem with teenage sexuality. We can’t
stop them, but we can educate them about why it is important to
abstain or protect themselves. It is a responsibility of all
parents to arm their children with more information than just
abstinence only because we know that won’t work,” she said.
According to a study the STD Prevention Conference released in
March 2004, 88 percent of 12,000 teenagers who pledged to remain
abstinent until they were married broke the pledge by engaging in
JFA spokesperson Cook said she is opposed to nearly all types of
birth control, especially emergency contraception, as she believes
it is dangerous to women’s health. She is also opposed to the birth
control pill because she views it as a form of abortion.
“The birth control pill can prevent a fertilized egg from
implantation in the uterus,” she said.
Cook said her abortion rights group emphasizes abstinence
because there does not seem to be a foolproof method of birth
control, yet she believes her group is making an impact by causing
people to think more about possible consequences before engaging in
“After viewing the exhibit many males have told us that they
were going to give serious thought before engaging is sexual
activity in the future,” Cook said.
While the display provoked discussion, Becky Siska-Salkin, a
freshman political science major, believes the issues could have
been presented more effectively.
“I understand that they have a point to express, but they could
have done it more respectfully,” Siska-Salkin said.