It’s news to most people that every January, usually on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, tens of thousands of people take part in the March for Life to protest abortion. In the early ’90s, when the U.S. Park Service still estimated attendance numbers at Washington marches, officials reported around 200,000 people gathered for the event.
This year was the first time the University sent an organized group to the march, and the group was greeted with surprise by other marchers. “I think people reacted strongly to the presence of the University banner at the March,” said junior Mike McClane. “University, I think, signifies to many people – and particularly the type that would attend the March for Life – an institution that supports liberalism, political correctness, and many cultural values that pro-lifers are not in favor of.”
Most of the pro-life crowd closely follow issues in bioethics. President Harold Shapiro’s advisory role to the Clinton administration and the recent faculty appointment of controversial bioethics professor Peter Singer have put University in the spotlight.
“Many of the people at the March were aware of the presence of Peter Singer on our campus, and came up to us with comments related to that subject. Overall, given University’s reputation with pro-lifers, I think many peop…
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…y of 1993 abortionist David Benjamin was convicted of murder in New York after a messy abortion killed Guadalupe Negron. Earlier that year, Angela Ruiz Hanna, a woman with no medical training who still performed abortions, killed Angela Neito Sanchez during an botched abortion. Sanchez had arrived at the clinic with two of her children.
Suresh Gandora lost his California abortion license after he perforated Magdalena Ortega-Rodriguez’s uterus and she bled to death.
All of these events, with a few exceptions, were more or less ignored by the national media.
Next January, University students will again meet in Washington to march for life. Most likely, before then we will continue to see the same type of slanted picture of abortion. And although most of us won’t hear much about them, the people who gather for the March for Life are still important.
Abortion: Pro and Con
Abortion: Pro and Con
In a pluralistic culture of unwanted pregnancy, there exists a contradiction between a relative sense of morality and the democratic ideal of free choice. Aristotle provided the first written record of this irresolvable contradiction in his book Politics, saying, “When couples have children in excess, let abortion be procured before sense and life have begun; what may or may not be lawfully done in these cases depends on the question of life and sensation.” (1) The controversy has always consisted of two sides: “Pro-Lifers”, who believe that abortion is morally wrong and should not be allowed, and “Pro-Choicers”, who support the woman’s right to choose the outcome of her pregnancy in all cases. There is also a large group of people who fall somewhere in between, believing that abortion should only be allowed under certain circumstances. To this day, abortion continues to be a topic of dispute, with each side offering many of the same arguments that have been offered for several millennia. Those concerned with the issue saw this played out most recently in the presidential election, a very close race in which abortion was a key factor in many citizens’ votes.
* Religion – Pro-Lifers often argue that God is on their side (ie. the Pope says abortion is wrong, so it must be).
* Fetus as Living Entity – They look at the fetus and see a tiny human, who quickly develops feet, hands, and other human appendages, as well as rudimentary forms of all the systems that you find in a fully developed human. Not to mention the fact that the fetus is capable of movement. Clearly, this small being must be “alive”. Perhaps the most compelling testaments to this theory are the rare ca…
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…ch appeals equally to both Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers. Instead, we should simply accept the decisions made by whoever is in political power at any given time. After all, these people are elected, so their views should, theoretically, coincide with those of the majority of the population. By acknowledging the fact that compromise will never be reached, we will be able to move on to issues that really can be resolved.
If, however, we are unable to accept some sort of policy on abortion while addressing deeper issues, we will continue to be faced with an alarmingly high incidence of unwanted pregnancy (about 1/2 of all pregnancies in 1996 were unintended), which, in turn, will continue to generate controversy over how to deal with these pregnancies.
(1) Aristotle. Politics (B. Jowett, Trans.).