First we want to commend Lawrence’s open-minded policy and student population for accepting organizations that represent many interests, be they controversial or not. The formation of “Lawrentians For Life” is a great example of the diversity of beliefs at this university.
Yes, abortion is a tragic decision and experience for a woman, but we want to affirm our support for her to make that decision. Therefore, we stand firm in our defense of reproductive rights. There are many situations that require a woman to choose the path her body will take. To the readers of this letter, if your mother, sister, lover, friend, acquaintance, or any other woman in your life fell victim to rape could you look her in the eye and tell her she had to bear that child? Rape is one of many reasons to keep America pro-choice.
Women without sufficient economic standing, appropriate maturity, ability to nurture, and/or women without a safe and supportive environment might not feel capable of raising a mentally and physically healthy child. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, “children who are unplanned are more likely to be abused, and children born unwanted face increased risks of poor health, poverty and neglect.” Abortion is currently an option for these women, as is adoption, but neither is for everyone. This may lead to a recommendation by some to simply remain abstinent. But this is another imposition of one group’s morals onto a mass of people.
If abortion is outlawed and the pro-life movement succeeds, there will still be women who choose bleach douches, knitting needles, and coat hangers to avoid their situations. Today some women choose these violent alternatives because legislation makes abortion inaccessible for some minors and women on Medicaid.
Our government is currently proposing the idea of abstinence-only education. Without comprehensive sexual education as an adolescent, our younger generations will be faced with more outbreaks in STI’s and higher teen pregnancy rates, which could result in a number of unwanted and insupportable children.
According to “Lawrentians for Life” group members, they plan on bringing in speakers to support and reinforce their movement, and possibly protest the existence of Planned Parenthood in Appleton. We support these expressions, and this group should continue to exercise their rights. As women, and socially conscious citizens, we will also make our voices heard. Please continue exercising your rights, and we will continue fighting for ours. Sincerely,
Nora Hertel and Sara Bernstein