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Who has the ‘Right to Life’?

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, October 12, 2008

It’s that time of year again. The sight of rows of simple white crosses and pink and blue flags greets me as I walk down South Quad. Yet again, I am moved to feel guilty, as I am of pro-choice ideology. But then, I look at the captions and quotes dispersed among the crosses – they all have to do with abortion – and I remember why I feel the way I do. The bantering between the pro-life/pro-choice issue has always baffled me. It always seems to center around the morality of abortion, when, if anyone really cared to dissect the issue, they’d see that the real issue at stake has nothing to do with abortion per se. It has to do with whether a woman has the right to have domain over her own body and the right to do with it as she chooses. The pro-choice viewpoint dictates that it is her right, not the government’s, hence its name.Naturally, most opposing issues have opposing ideas: pro-welfare vs. anti-welfare, death penalty vs. life in prison, etc. However, if you really look at both issues, pro-choice and pro-life viewpoints don’t necessarily contradict each other. I’ve always found it interesting that pro-choice activists get labeled as “anti-life” or “pro-abortion.” There is nothing to suggest that in the term “pro-choice.” In fact, I’m fairly certain that if you asked most pro-choice activists, they would say that abortion is a tragedy for all parties involved and not ideal. We’re not “pro-abortion;” we’re “pro-the-woman’s- choice-to-have-an-abortion-if-she-chooses-to.”We all know what the mission of Right to Life/Respect Life Week is to get the message out to the student body that we should all respect the life of an unborn fetus and allow it to live a full, healthy life. But what about the right of would-be mothers to live that same full, healthy life? Is she expected to give up her rights over her own body the second she becomes pregnant? As a pro-choice idealist, I say that she is entitled to act as she sees fit. If that entails abortion, while it is a regrettable situation, I accept it because in the end, it is her body … and therefore her choice and right.Abortion is a terrible predicament to experience. For it, against it … however you feel, it’s clear that this is not the real issue at stake. It is the rights of the mother that are at risk. I, personally, hope that I will never have to be put in a situation where it is a choice I will have to make. However, if that day ever comes, my hope is that the government will still allow me to make my own choice.

Lindsay SchwartzsophomoreWelsh Family HallOct. 7