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Discussing abortion protest

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, October 9, 2003

Last week was National Respect Life week and to make a statement regarding abortion, a Pro-Life group displayed a number of crosses near the Law School. This display did not represent the opinions of many students on campus – both Catholic and non-Catholic – who favor legalized abortion and, under the Constitution and the natural law, these students have a right to their opinion. The student who deliberately trampled the crosses, however, indicated either one of two things to the Pro-Life group: That the opinion they were expressing was intolerable and they had no right to it; or, deeming that the students had at least the right to their opinion, they still had no right to express it.

The first possibility is a simple issue of tolerance. The Cross is a universal symbol used to represent Christianity and also to mark tombstones. The Pro-Life group used the Cross to convey their faith and their belief that abortion kills unborn people. It was a clear yet non-graphic and peaceful demonstration. On the other hand, the vandal did not peacefully or thoughtfully promote his views. His actions only said that he did not like and in fact would not tolerate the opinions of the Pro-Lifers.

The second possibility is that the student did not want the group to express their beliefs on campus. Abortion is a controversial and emotional issue. It would have been inappropriate and insensitive to put the crosses in the yard of a woman known to have had an abortion. Notre Dame, however, is the most widely recognized Catholic university in the country. Being that the Catholic Church has a clear anti-abortion stance, it would seem that the students chose a logical and “safe” environment to make their display. Would anyone think it acceptable to vandalize expressions of Muslim thought at a Muslim school? Of course not, and, likewise, it seems equally inappropriate for a student to destroy expressions of Catholic thought on campus.

Anna DunikoskiUniversity Village ResidentOct. 8