“Jessica, I’m pregnant.” This is a phrase I never thought I would have to hear, especially not from several of my friends. Needless to say, none of them actually went through with their pregnancies and all had them terminated. Therefore, it did not come as a shock when I went into get a new prescription of birth control and my gynecologist began advertising the Valley Women’s Clinic in Radford.
“Did they have that last year?” I asked.
“No. They just put it in over the summer in response to the high abortion and pregnancy rates of Radford’s students,” my doctor informed me.
How many abortions and unplanned pregnancies does it take to literally start up a new business? Although I could’t access this information, it’s easy to realize how drastic the situation must be. It’s about time Radford began dealing with the unconventional issues. Even though abortion and unplanned pregnancies are not pretty, they’re becoming fads sweeping across campus and this issue needs to be addressed. Radford, the city and the University, have a tendency not to take responsibility for things happening under their nose. I’m proud of Radford’s response to this situation, not to sweep it under the rug, but to deal with it head-on.
However, the clinic has very specific ideals.
“If someone comes in bound on an abortion, we do not send them to the clinic. They are very pro-life,” said my doctor.
The clinic is a start, but this issue is not going to go away on its own. There should be a clinic that is neutral, instead of leaning towards pro-life or pro-choice. When an unplanned pregnancy does happen, you have to sit down and explore your options. Women should be able to have a place that helps them do that, without judgment. Even on the clinic’s website, it’s obvious what side they favor. All they portray is the negative side of abortions, while emphasizing the positive side of adoption or keeping the baby. What about the negative side of adoption or keeping the child? Even the pictures drastically change on their website. On every other page, there is a picture of a woman smiling, obviously very happy. When you click on the “Abortion Information” page, it is a woman who looks like she is deep in thought, maybe even sad.
Although the clinic does recognize abortion as an option in an unplanned pregnancy, their goal is to steer you away from it. They do not realize, however, that adoption or keeping the baby may not be the best choice for all unplanned pregnancies. In fact, abortion is the only option on the clinic’s website which even mentions risks, when there are risks in each of the options. The clinic is a great start on handling Radford’s growing unplanned pregnancy epidemic, but there is still more to be done and more resources to be made available. It also seems like this issue in general is staying quiet, even though it is affecting many students. We can start by making the issue more approachable, and then learn how to deal with it appropriately.