While we hate to “rehash a long-dead debate,” as John Brown puts it, we feel that the pro-choice side of the abortion argument has not been adequately represented in the Minnesota Daily. This letter does not seek to change anyone’s mind on this topic, only to clarify points that other students, faculty, and staff have mentioned. Just as the Genocide Awareness Project was allowed their free speech, so should pro-choice students be given a fair voice.
Abortion is not genocide because the procedure is not a systematic extermination, or even an attempt to systematically exterminate, an entire group of people. The key word is entire, not systematic. Abortion clinics are no more systematic attempts to terminate all pregnancies, as Kathryn Elliot explains, than gyms are systematic attempts to force everyone to exercise. The Holocaust was genocide because it was an attempt to exterminate all Jews, all mentally and physically disabled people, and all members of many other groups. Pro-choice organizations and abortion providers are not trying to abort all fetuses, or all fetuses with genetic abnormalities, or all fetuses of particular racial groups, and neither are the women whom these clinics serve. Abortion is a medical procedure that is voluntarily chosen by those women who no longer want to continue their pregnancies -- or are no longer able to, due to a serious health risk.
Furthermore, organizations like the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and their graphic displays do nothing to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies that lead to abortions. They encourage and oftentimes manipulate, in the case of “crisis pregnancy centers,” women to continue their pregnancies and then give their children up for adoption. Anti-choice organizations discourage the use of condoms, birth control, Plan B, and other forms of contraception, which would reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies, and, thus, the number of abortions. These organizations also do not advocate for comprehensive sexual education, which teaches people how to properly use contraception, which would reduce the numbers of STI’s in addition to the number of unplanned pregnancies.
Pro-choice organizations, like the University Pro-Choice Coalition, advocate for women to be allowed a choice, whatever their decision may be. We support prevention: comprehensive sexual education and access to contraceptives, not emotional and factual manipulation and scare tactics.
And for those who think that the debate on this topic is finished, please consider the fact that not too long ago, the government granted this reproductive right and could just as easily take it away. Freedom is not free without a choice.
Brook Jacobson and Pamela Ronnei