One of the big debates that has been happening for quite some time now is whether or not a woman should be allowed to get an abortion. This is a debate that has gone on for years with many people providing their input, and some have complicated the topic unnecessarily. The government itself tries to regulate and dictate the laws surrounding abortion, but one of the issues is the U.S. Congress, the group of people who make the federal laws in our county. Congress has only 104 women in it, out of 535 total seats available (1). It seems a little ridiculous that the group who decides the laws on an issue that can only be experienced and fully understood by women is made up of mostly men, who outnumber the women present by more than 4 to 1.
This is not to say that men cannot have a say or a hand in crafting whatever abortion laws need to be made. However, their voice should be secondary on this issue. Women are perfectly capable of understanding and realizing the needs and functions of their own body, and they absolutely have every right to decide what they wish to do with it.
One of the major targets of anti-abortion legislation has been Planned Parenthood. Many of the accusations that are made against it show a distinct lack of an understanding of what Planned Parenthood does. This reflects the lack of understanding some lawmakers have of women’s health and health services. Abortions are only a small part of what Planned Parenthood does; it also provides STI and STD testing, cancer screenings, and health education as well as functioning as an OBGYN (2). This shows that Planned Parenthood provides so much more than just abortion services. The fact that many lawmakers would like to shut this organization down despite all of the good it does makes it seem like they are having a witch hunt rather than attempting to serve the American public.
Donald J. Trump, republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, seems to be confused on his own beliefs and values. When it comes to abortion, pro-life or pro-choice, Trump has, on multiple occasions, changed his mind on where he stands. According to The Washington Post, over the last 17 years, Trump has flip-flopped on the topic of abortion. Knowing that he use to be a democrat, it’s understandable that his views have changed since becoming a republican; however, over a three day time period, March 30 through April 1, Trump altered his statements about abortion five times. It seems as though he mixed up his own beliefs with the ones he was told to believe by the people running his campaign.
On March 30, at 2:30 pm, Trump sits down for an interview with MSNBC, stating that he believes women who receive abortions should be criminally punished, adding the men involved should not be criminally punished. This statement, seemingly strongly believed and confirming in its delivery, was altered an hour later, before the interview could be aired, by a spokesperson for Trump on twitter saying “statement on abortion: says it should be put back to the states and he’s pro life, like Reagan.” This new statement is essentially a 180 from what he had previously said, an hour before. About an hour after that, a new and more extensive statement is released on his website which is, again, completely different from his initial statement to the interviewer at MSNBC.
On April 1, CBS releases a small piece of their interview with Trump which seems to contain another statement about abortion, one that is, once again, different from statements previously made. He said “the laws are set now on abortion and that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed. I would’ve preferred states’ rights. I think it would’ve been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set…. At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way.” This statement is completely contradictory to everything he has said, as of recently, about his stance on abortion. The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization, replied to Trump’s statement saying he should be “disqualified himself as the GOP nominee.”
Once again, before his CBS interview airs, Trump’s campaign releases a statement changing his stance on abortion. It states “Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now — until he is president. Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.” So what can we take away from this debacle? Trump doesn’t know what he believes in. It seems as though his spokespeople are the ones who are actually running for president and he is just the frontman with all the money. If Trump can’t decide which side he’s on regarding this pretty straightforward issue, how can the American people expect him to make decision on issues that are more complicated and could put the entire country at risk? The voters need to open their eyes to who Trump is and discover what he really believes in, that is, if he even really knows.
When I visited Boulder, Colorado, there was a very strong liberal presence- which I loved. There were eco-friendly cars, a Planned Parenthood office and a Republican headquarters office that looked to be in shambles, which made this place paradise for me.
However, shortly after visiting Boulder, a incident occurred which made it very clear that there needs to be balance in pro-choice legislation. A pregnant woman responded to a Craigslist ad about baby clothes.When she arrived at the poster’s house, she was brutally attacked. The attacker, a nurse’s aide, allegedly took the woman into her basement and cut the fetus out of her stomach, killing the fetus.
The victim hid from the attacker and called 911, and police responded to the scene. They found the victim bleeding and disoriented to the point that she didn’t realize her baby had been cut out of her stomach. Luckily, however, the victim survived.
Colorado state law does not give fetuses personhood, which makes charging the attacker with murder very difficult. The law is new, which means it has tons of flaws. For example, the law recognizes fetuses as people if they can survive outside the womb for a period of time. How long that period of time is, however, is unclear. Also, because the law allows for early-term abortions, it can be difficult to claim the attacker committed murder without also attacking women who seek abortions.
In my opinion, I believe the law needs to spelled out and airtight. This woman was clearly a victim. She was attacked and had her baby forcibly removed from her stomach by a nurse’s aide(not even an actual nurse), which could have caused far worse injuries. She innocently responded to a Craigslist ad searching for clothing for her baby, so clearly she wasn’t planning on aborting. The attacker, however, clearly had planned to,lure in the woman by posting the ad.
To add insult to injury, a Republican lawmaker and professional lunatic (aka televangelist) named Gordon Klingenschmitt claimed the incident was an “act of God.” He explained by saying God was punishing America for allowing abortion. It never fails to amaze me how low the right will stoop.
If someone was kidnapped and had an organ forcibly removed, there would be outrage. It happens all the time around the world and often isn’t reported, but the people who do it are deemed the scum of the Earth. This woman didn’t take out a lung or a kidney which would make her victim’s body operate inefficiently, but she forcibly took out her baby — which could cause long-term damage to her reproductive organs and years of emotional scarring. If an organ or even a limb were taken, the attacker would never again see the light of day.
There’s no excuse for what this woman did, but we must remember to keep the ideals of most pro-choicers out of this situation. I believe that most people who identify as pro-choice would agree that this situation is horrific and not at all what we fight for. My hope is that in the journey to becoming a pro-choice country, we can ensure that the law is more clear and doesn’t allow room for such atrocities.
“The Genocide Awareness Project”. It truly does sound like a cause fit for the righteous and the noble. I imagine there are few people on campus who are opposed to eradicating genocide.
The main problem with this project is the branding of the project. The problem with the so-called “Genocide Awareness Project” is that it is less about spreading knowledge and enlightenment, and more about spreading fear and hate amongst our campus. Pro-life and anti-life are ideologies; most of the time, those ideologies do not meet in the middle. “The Genocide Awareness Project” takes the pro-life stance to extremes, by equating legal abortion with the inhumane torture and death of Nazi genocide victims and African American lynching victims.
To be certain, no qualms should be raised concerning this group’s right to say what they wish. As is well established by the United States Constitution, the people’s right to free speech and peaceable assembly shall not be abridged. Likewise, as some may be surprised to know, Radford University also allows protests like this to take place under its own free speech protection clause, a portion of which states,
[f]ree inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the vibrancy and vitality of a campus community. At Radford University, we value and honor diverse perspectives and believe it essential that groups and individuals have the opportunity to engage in peaceful and orderly protests and demonstrations (“Free Expression Policy”).
However, while “The Genocide Awareness Project” is free to express their freedom of speech and freedom of peaceable assembly, this writer will make sure to express his own freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
“The Genocide Awareness Project” is welcome to tout their beliefs, but make no mistake, their argument is biased towards women who desire the ability to plan their own lives and families, biased towards men who support those women (regardless of their eventual choice to abort or not), and perhaps most egregious, is that their entire premise and argument makes very little sense in terms of the actual definition of genocide.
As outlined by the United Nations,” the United States defines genocide as an act which possesses “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial, or religious group as such appearing in Article II means the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group” (“Chapter IV”). It should be clear that abortion, as a medical procedure, is not an effort to stamp out growth of any group in the United States. Abortion is a medical procedure which was settled by the Supreme Court in 1973, commonly referred to as Rowe v. Wade. “The Genocide Awareness Project” should familiarize themselves with the statutes of American law. Under an ideological banner, they are free to stage protests with the intent to suppress or deter women from consulting with a doctor about the potentially emotional subject of abortion. However, “The Genocide Awareness Project” should also be warned that the letter of the law is not on their side.
Protest is perfectly acceptable, as laid out by both The United States Constitution and Radford University; but, “The Genocide Awareness Project” must be intimately aware that their crusade against female liberty will not be tolerated by those of us who have moved beyond 1973. Restrictions on abortion are already in place, and for good reason. These restrictions mean something. Great care has been taken in formulating laws against abortion; no one condones the killing of fetuses past the third trimester. For 41 years, women have had the right to choose for themselves what types of medical care is most beneficial to them, their family, their financial state, and their mental well-being. No one will take that right away from them. The court has spoken, and they spoke loudly and clearly 41 years ago.
“The Genocide Awareness Project” should be intimately aware of their messaging strategy. Their entire premise of existence is predicated on the aspect of shock and awe.
If they feel abortion is tantamount to genocide, then we, as citizens, students, and teachers certainly reserve the right to call their project the incoherent ramblings of a demented and misogynistic group of raving lunatics.
If you’ve read any of my articles, you would know that I’m in no way anti-abortion. I’m all for it, within reason. Last week, there was a viral video that really reaffirmed why I’m so pro-choice. In the video, a couple is about to have their first child. Like any parents-to-be they buy clothes, toys, a crib and numerous other baby accessories as they await the arrival of their newborn baby boy.
As any expectant mother does, the pregnant wife goes to a doctors appointment and gets a routine ultrasound. Unfortunately, the doctor noticed several abnormalities with the fetus. The fetus appeared to have a cleft palette, kidney failure and heart problems. The doctor, understandably, suggested to the mother that she terminate the pregnancy because the child had zero chance of surviving more than a couple days. However, the couple decided to move forward with the pregnancy so that they could get to “meet” their child and make him as comfortable as possible in the few days that he had.
Many praised the parents for being so brave and not terminating the pregnancy. When you watch the video, however,the baby looks miserable after he is born. The baby died several times in the parents arms, only to be brought back to life by chest compressions. Pro-lifers may applaud the parents for what they did, but I can’t help but put myself in that situation.
I’m not one to judge the parents for their decision. If they feel closure because they got to “know” their child for those few days he had, good for them. However, if I were in that situation, especially after seeing the way the child suffered during his short life, I would’ve chosen to terminate the pregnancy.
Now before you assume I’m this heartless wench who has no sympathy or that I’m this abortion-pushing maniac, think about what it would be like to only remember your child as being ill. Personally, I would rather not see my child suffer while fighting in vain to keep him or her alive. I would rather move forward in my life, and honestly, try again. I couldn’t, in good conscience, force my child into this world just to watch them die in front of my eyes.
I respect the parents choice, if that’s what will give them peace in the long-run. I just don’t think what they did is this amazing thing that’s completely worthy of praise. In my opinion, it’s sort of selfish to make a small baby suffer just so that you can feel brave and noble about not aborting it.
Although I would have to actually be put into the situation to know what I’d do, I feel strongly that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy the way this mother did. I believe sometimes there’s no shame in giving up and starting over, especially so that the child didn’t have to die so slowly.
The Libertarian party has picked up quite a bit of steam in the past couple of years. More and more Americans are identifying as Libertarian, although few seem to actually vote Libertarian. I started following the Libertarian Party on Facebook last year when Robert Sarvis was running for senator in the state of Virginia. For those of you who don’t know, Libertarians typically preach little government control in many different aspects including gun rights, drug legality and use, and abortion.
Overall, Libertarians truly emphasize the importance of liberty with little government interference. One post on the Libertarian Party Facebook page shows a woman, standing nude with the words “I’m a Libertarian because my body is my property.” When you ask a true Libertarian what their stance on abortion is, typically the answer will be somewhere along the lines of, “I believe you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t interfere with my rights.” Whether or not they necessarily agree with abortion, the motto for the Libertarian party seems to be, “it’s your choice.”
Reading the comment section on this particular post, the true Libertarians seem to be few and far between. One comment read, “her body is her property, the babies property is HIS property.” It’s obvious that by “HIS” property, this person is talking about God. Several other comments were similar to, “I don’t agree with abortion, but I’m a proud Libertarian for many other reasons!” Many more of these pseudo-Libertarians argued that abortion was actually against the ideals of the Libertarian party because the “unborn babies rights were being violated.”
Let’s break this down. Libertarians believe in little government interference in people’s personal lives including gay marriage and abortion, along with many other rights. We believe that you can do whatever the hell you want, as long as it doesn’t obstruct someone else’s rights. If anyone says they’re a Libertarian but would willingly vote against abortion, they’re not a Libertarian. If one would willingly take away a woman’s right to get a safe abortion because “that baby has rights too,” they’re not a Libertarian. No true Libertarian would agree that an unborn cluster of cells has more right than a living, breathing woman.
One of the best arguments I spotted while scrolling through this comment section was that a Libertarian would never agree that if a child needed a kidney, the parent should be forced to give up one of theirs. It’s the same concept. If a woman finds herself pregnant whether by rape, failed birth control, or whatever the case may be, she shouldn’t be forced to volunteer her body for 9 months if she doesn’t want to. Pregnancy is a great source of stress, mentally, physically and emotionally. I’d imagine being pregnant when you want to be pregnant is stressful enough, I can’t imagine what it’d be like if you didn’t want to be pregnant.
Although I’m happy that more Americans are accepting the Libertarian Party as a legitimate political party, there are going to be a lot of fakers. Being a Libertarian takes a lot of tolerance that I don’t think the Right side has. Unfortunately a lot of neoconservatives seem to be getting confused and identifying as Libertarian. The ideals of this party need to be put out on the table with the words “no exceptions.” Hopefully once the ideals of this party are put out in the open, we can weed out the true Libertarians and the party can move forward with few controversies.
If you’ve never heard of a “pregnancy crisis center,” you’re very lucky. Where I’m from, there are multiple billboards advertising these “clinics”. Pregnancy crisis centers very handy for pregnant mothers who need help acquiring clothes or diapers for their babies, but not much else. A lot of the billboards show women looking distressed with the words, “Pregnant? Scared? We can help” usually followed by a phone number and something along the lines of “know your options.”
The truth behind these pregnancy crisis centers is that they aren’t really giving you any options. For them, it’s “mommy or murder.” Instead of offering real, helpful counseling and assisting women in making an informed decision, they’re usually putting the fear of God into their “patients.”
I use quotes for “patients” because these crisis centers usually try to pose as medical facilities. I recently saw a UpWorthy video of a woman who visited dozens of these pregnancy crisis centers across the country, and in many cases they presented false medical advice. One of these “counselors” even pressed that every time a woman got an abortion, her chance of getting breast cancer increased severely.
One woman, who visited a pregnancy crisis center, had called ahead and asked for a price on an abortion. The receptionist insisted that they wouldn’t discuss prices over the phone and that she needed to come into the clinic. When the woman arrived there, she was brought into a “counseling” session wherein a woman showed her an educational video on abortions.
The woman was then given a free ultrasound, being forced to look at the fetus inside her. When she left, she asked the receptionist why she had misled her into thinking that it was an abortion clinic. The receptionist became upset and insisted that God “wanted her to protect her and her baby,” then apologizing that the girl felt “duped.”
With all of the misleading information and false advertising these places give out, how are they even legal? Quite frankly, if I were ever to seek an abortion and was given a lecture about God instead of the help I was searching for, I’d be pissed. I can’t believe that these places are allowed to slide by, posing as medical facilities. For someone who is facing a real pregnancy crisis, it has to be horrifying to feel for a moment that you are about to receive the help you want, but then to find out it was all a lie.
Even worse, these places are often funded by our tax dollars. Instead of giving abortions to women who can’t afford to support a child, these places are giving a sense of false hope. I’d rather see our tax dollars being used to fund actual medical procedures than to know we’re paying these jackasses to give out false information and to intimidate women.
Welcome back to another scandalous episode of From Our Perspective. This is a direct continuation of the debate from last time, where we talked about St. Albans and Obamacare. In this episode, we’ve ramped up the controversy. We delve into the Va. gubernatorial elections, as well as the topic of abortion and the new “Radford Students for Life” club that opened on campus. Continue reading From Our Perspective: Va Elections & Pro Life Club→
“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.
Abortion has been in the public eye as of late, largely due to attempts by conservative politicians and fundamentalist religious groups to impede or even entirely outlaw the practice. Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin recently caused a stir when he opposed abortion for rape victims based on unscientific ideas about how conception works, and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan stepped into the fray to defend him.