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Pro-choice deserves a voice at Saint Mary’s

| Tuesday, September 22, 2020

At the start of the month, a few students at Saint Mary’s started a “Belles for Choice” club. I was eager to join, and thankful that the pro-choice community at SMC could finally be represented. I have attended Catholic school my entire life, and I never felt that I had a place to discuss pro-life vs. pro-choice. In grade school, our only sex talk addressed periods (a talk given only to the girls) and waiting until marriage for sex. There was no mention of safe sex practices, consent or methods of birth control.

In eighth grade, the school’s priest came to talk to my classmates and me during a religion class. He told us that we were all “Worth the Wait” (for sex after marriage, that is) and held a negative tone towards anyone that chose not to wait. He told us that abortion is murder and is never acceptable. I remember asking him, “What if a young girl is raped and gets pregnant — does she have to have the child?”

He seemed shocked that I would question this, and replied by saying something along the lines of, “Yes, it was God’s will that she was raped and got pregnant. She has to have this child.”

I was disgusted. Disgusted that some people believe in a God that “wills” a child to get raped, and disgusted that the priest seemed so shocked by my disagreement.

I am aware that many of my fellow Belles do not agree with my stance on the right to an abortion; however silencing half of the equation and conversation is not the answer. Just because the College does not agree with my stance, does not mean my fellow pro-choice Belles and I are nonexistent. It is time for difficult conversations. Saint Mary’s should stand for allowing a safe space for students to discuss reproductive rights.

I am not a product of my school’s beliefs — I am my own entity. We are not asking for the school’s endorsement, just to allow us to meet and discuss women’s health, including abortion rights. I have been taught by Saint Mary’s to seek out truth and to stand up for what I believe in. Not allowing this club to exist takes away my right to do so.

Saint Mary’s, allow the pro-choice community a voice. Allow us to have open dialogue on campus and to discuss why we are pro-choice. Allow us to discuss what it means to be pro-choice. Silencing us is not pro-life. It is sticking to your own agenda and pushing Catholic beliefs upon every student. It is time for open dialogue and representation of all communities, including the pro-choice community.

Brigid Conmy

junior

Sept. 16

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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