By Michael LeBoeuf and Riley Barrett

On the afternoon of Oct. 7, the student club Students for Life organized a rally outside of the Barone Campus Center that included a miniature graveyard covered in pink crosses and several members of the organization handing out flyers and pamphlets with slanderous quotes and misinformation about the organization Planned Parenthood. Not only was this display offensive in appearance, but also insensitive toward any woman who has had to undergo an abortion procedure. Quite frankly, it’s an affront to all women.

An abortion is a medical procedure that many women choose to undergo for reasons ranging from personal choice to health concerns. While abortion services only account for 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services, Students for Life chose to attack the organization saying that it tries to “profit off of abortion.” Saying a statement like this is equivalent to claiming that doctors try to profit off cancer.

As a student on this campus, we should not have to take a detour to get to class to avoid getting bombarded with offensive displays and quotes promoting beliefs that we find offensive and disheartening. How would you feel as a woman who has had to undergo an abortion procedure if you walked out of the BCC and felt guilt-tripped and reminded of that painful experience on your way back to your residence hall? While we believe that the student group has every right to voice their opinions and uphold their beliefs, we’re personally offended by the groups’ choice of display and nature of the rally that they held. It was a blatant attempt to force their beliefs onto others and using scare tactics to try and mislead students into believing falsehoods against Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood provides many health services and is primarily known for its affordable care options, primarily in low-income areas where health care coverage is hard to come by and the uninsured rate remains high. Most female students on this campus are lucky to come from backgrounds where they have access to basic healthcare and comfortable health insurance that make these procedures affordable. But, a considerable percentage of women in this country do not have the same access to affordable mammograms, gynecological procedures, psychiatric services and contraception. For many women who visit Planned Parenthood, it will be the only doctor they see all year. That’s where Planned Parenthood steps in and that’s why it has been providing these types of services since 1916.

Getting rid of abortion clinics does not get rid of abortion. It’s like trying to ban alcohol and expecting it to go away — it doesn’t, and it only makes possible situations more dangerous. Every year, 78,000 women die from unsafe abortions performed by non-licensed providers. How can an organization that argues for “life” be against a procedure which is some cases save a woman’s life? Organizations like Planned Parenthood provide the necessary options for women of all ages and stages of health, not just family planning.

We have many friends who have received contraception, Plan B and pregnancy tests, have been checked for cervical cancer and yes, even gotten abortions from our local Planned Parenthood clinic. We don’t appreciate seeing pale pink “baby graves” scattered across the lawn and our mood certainly won’t improve when our peers shove leaflets down our throat about the “Planned Parenthood” experience. If you haven’t ever been in this situation, don’t begin to assume you know what is best for society as a whole.

Outrageous statements like “Planned Parenthood only gives abortions to raise money — they encourage it over other options and even give out poorly rated condoms” are completely false. Planned Parenthood gives abortions because women exercise their legal right and ask for them. They do not encourage it above other options or force their views on you.

While we believe that Fairfield should encourage political discourse and promote social involvement for the students on this campus, we feel that the display of controversial and misleading views have no place guilt-tripping the student body on their walk to class. Planned Parenthood is a multifaceted organization and abortion is a legal right that women have yet it is a difficult, complicated and private decision that they may face in their lifetime, hopefully without judgement or guilt from others.

One Response

  1. Rod Stiffington

    Let me see if I get this straight.

    You’re totally in favor of the liberal views like free speech, tolerance, and acceptance. But, only for those things you agree with, right? I mean the free speech of people that you disagree with is just a nuisance to you, isn’t it?

    Think of what you wrote. Here’s the quote that stands out to me:

    “While we believe that Fairfield should encourage political discourse and promote social involvement for the students on this campus, we feel that the display of controversial and misleading views have no place guilt-tripping the student body on their walk to class”

    On the one hand you want to encourage political discourse, but if there’s anything in there that you don’t agree with, it needs to be shut down. Even if the statements being made are “misleading” it doesn’t mean they’re causing harm to anyone. There’s a big difference between say, shouting “fire” in a crowded room, and talking about planned parenthood without having all the facts.

    What’s worse is this quote:
    “If you haven’t ever been in this situation, don’t begin to assume you know what is best for society as a whole.”

    You’re condemning people with different views for assuming they know what’s best for society, all while you’re doing the exact same thing. Maybe planned parenthood ISN’T a good thing in the minds of some people. I mean if you care about political discourse so much, why are you so insistent upon shutting it down?

    It’s never about encouraging debate. It’s never been about hearing everyone’s opinion. The left cares only about their own views. Anything else is just offensive to them.

    Reply

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