Abortion debate at UH - graphic photo warning!

I took some photographs of the protest and I will post some here, and I want to warn you that some of the graphic photos used in the demonstration ARE visible in my photos. So you may not want to go on reading this if you don't want to see those pictures. ***[For now the pictures are on my Flickr page, which I will link to below, because I am having problems uploading them to Blogger. I intend to add them here later if I can get them uploaded.]***

On my way to class this morning I came across this sign:

Let me tell you that I honestly did not expect to see what I saw when I got a little closer. It was an anti-abortion display that equated abortion to genocide, using pictures of instances of genocide in our history next to pictures of aborted fetuses at different stages of development.

I'm going to express my personal opinion now, so you know my "bias". I have been "pro-life" for most of my life, but as I've grown and matured, I realized that I made that decision because I personally do not ever want to have an abortion. I understand now that what I want for myself personally is not always going to be the best choice for humanity as a whole.

Sometimes I still find myself leaning more "pro-life", but I really think abortion should be considered on a case by case basis as an informed decision by a woman and her doctor, which obviously lends itself to a CHOICE. I think the biggest issue I have with this is that I have not made up my mind about whether or not I think government should pay for abortions (but that is more in line with me not being able to make up my mind about the solution to the whole healthcare crisis). Also, what if the father of the child does not want the mother to have an abortion? Should he have just as much say in the situation? Does the mother get 100% control of the decision because the unborn child would be residing in her womb for 40 weeks? I just don't have the answers to these questions. Clearly I've been on both sides of the fence on this issue.

Now that I've stated my stance, I want to talk about the terms we seem to be using to identify the two sides of this debate.

"Pro-choice" - this I understand. People that align themselves with this label tend to be for the legal right for a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

"Pro-life" - this is the term that gets under my skin. Even when I was "pro-life" I loathed this term because it implies that the other side is "pro-death".

I don't know who came up with the "pro-life" designation, and maybe I should research that, but it's obviously only there for the "shocker" value. It's not like the other guys are running around shouting "Abortions for all! Let's all go out and get pregnant just so we can kill our unborn children!". That's just ridiculous. Perhaps the name should be "anti-choice" because if you're touting for abortions to be illegal, then you obviously want to take that choice away.

I heard from some classmates that the protest and counter-protest got pretty heated with lots of yelling and screaming from both sides. This is understandable because it is obviously a very controversial issue. When I walked by again in the afternoon, there were still lots of people, but no one was screaming or yelling. I took these photos:

***[Click here for my Flickr page]***

See all those wire hangers? It is horrifying to think that desperate women had illegal abortions with wire hangers, and while it is true, the wire hanger "shocker" has been sensationalized, according to this article:

"Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a cofounder of NARAL, blew the myth wide open in his 1997 book, "Confessions of an Ex-Abortionist." He admits that early abortion-rights advocates totally fabricated the number of women dying from back-alley and wire-hanger abortions. The 10,000 figure they used to affect public opinion was actually closer to 250, he writes. The actual figure in 1972 for deaths from illegal abortion was 39, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Nathanson also admitted to fabricating polls that indicated public support for abortion rights."

Though it's not 10,000, 39 is still way too many lives lost in this manner.

For more commentary on this debate, read this article from the Daily Cougar, the University of Houston newspaper. FYI: There is one photograph with the article and it does show some aborted fetuses in the background. It's not a huge picture, but I just wanted to put the warning out there.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I really dislike displays like that. It's just offensive, in my opinion. It's ironic to me that pro-life groups have demonstrations like this and that extremists are the ones who bomb clinics and the like.

I think my stance is like yours - I don't necessarily agree with abortion or think that it's "right", but I also don't think it's my place to decide what is right and wrong for everyone, in every situation. I cannot imagine ever choosing to abort a pregnancy, but, you know, I can't fathom every situation possible either. I can't imagine being in the position that some women are in when they have to make the decision so I don't want to sit in judgment of them. So, I consider myself pro-choice. I just hate that somehow that translates into my being "pro-abortion" or "pro-death".