Sunday, July 5, 2020

LETTER: Pro-life protesters are misguided, need to consider reasons for abortions

April 10, 2014

An open letter to the anti-abortion protesters on campus:

I think you greatly misunderstand the reasons why people seek abortions. No one I’ve ever met has gotten an abortion because it seemed like a fun way to spend an afternoon. They’ve gotten one because of a slew of very real, very serious problems in our society that must be solved. Your harassment and gory posters will never be effective in preventing abortions.

Effective abortion prevention is mandatory and continuous public school sex education, and easy access to free condoms and birth control regardless of age or gender.

Teenagers often become pregnant because they have no idea how their own bodies work, and because they have no access to contraceptives. This is especially true in states that discourage or outright ban comprehensive sex education in their public schools, overlooking the correlations between abstinence-only education and high teenage pregnancy rates. If a 14-year-old is too young to be taught about condoms, why is she old enough to give birth and raise a child?

Effective abortion prevention is universal healthcare, easy access to free health screenings and tubal ligations and vasectomies for those who ask for them.

Cancer and diabetes can already take a huge toll on someone without being exacerbated by pregnancy, putting the mother and the fetus in danger. Furthermore, denying young people vasectomies and tubal ligations denies them the opportunity to ensure they will not pass down hereditary diseases to biological children.

Effective abortion prevention is mandatory and continuous sexual assault and abuse education, and harsh, swift prosecution of abusers, assailants and rapists.

Many of the people I have met who have had abortions did so because they were raped, resulting in an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy attached to a debilitating trauma in their lives. Some of them were still children when this happened. Until sexual assault and abuse are entirely eradicated, people will seek abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. The only question is if they will be able to get a safe, legal abortion from a medical professional, instead of a dangerous and potentially fatal illegal procedure.

Effective abortion prevention is an end to sexual slavery, forced abortions and involuntary sterilization.

I have not encountered an anti-abortion campaign that has fought for a person’s right to choose to have children. Where is the anti-abortion movement to put an end to sexual slavery, which inflicts dangerous forced abortions on the young girls who are impregnated by their rapists? Where is the outcry about the court-mandated, involuntary abortions and sterilizations of disabled women and women of color that happen right here in the U.S.?

Effective abortion prevention is living wages for all employees, government-subsidized childcare, easy access to nutritious food for children and adults and permanent solutions to homelessness and poverty.

The minimum wage in the U.S. is not nearly enough to support single adults, let alone families. Parents working two or three jobs, trying to lift themselves out of poverty, need access to inexpensive, high-quality childcare. Families need to have enough food, clothing and shelter to raise healthy children. Someone who doesn’t have enough income to support one person cannot be asked to start supporting an infant as well.

And all of this must come with an understanding that easy access to safe and legal abortions is part of a basic, inherent human right to bodily autonomy and free will. Until every person is able to have full control over their own choices about their body, our world is an unjust, unsafe place to live.

Please stop yelling at us, calling us murderers. You don’t know who were are or what we have endured in our lives. You’ve never even thought to ask, or you have refused to listen.

If you truly cared about effectively preventing abortions, you would find solutions to the problems that drive people to seek abortions. You would not carry on with your abusive, self-righteous campaigns to shame and scare people away from a medical service that saves lives from death, poverty and abuse.

Keep abortion legal, on demand, without apology.

Christianna Gluys

Social relations and policy senior


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