In honor of the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade (Jan. 22, 1973) the Women’s Resource Center would like to respond to the anti-abortion advertisement insert that was included in last Thursday’s Vanguard.
We would first like to say that we respect and honor the personal perspectives of the people featured in the advertisement. They shared stories of regret, shame and pain around their experiences with abortion. We believe that they had a right to choose, and the opportunity to choose should be available to everyone.
Aimee: I would like to share my experience when I had to make a choice. The anti-abortion literature says, “this surprise is a golden opportunity for a woman to let her strong character and unique personality shine.” When I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, my strong character and unique personality was wondering where the f@%k that guy went? We need to encourage men to be more supportive rather than trying to make women carry all the responsibility and shame. It is suspicious that men’s roles were not mentioned anywhere in the advertisement. For myself and many other women, there was no support to raise a child. Abortion becomes a class issue when we fail to support women and children and stigmatize them for being on welfare. We need to support women in whatever choice they make.
Suzi: Six years ago I was faced with deciding whether or not to continue a pregnancy. I chose to continue and 9 months later delivered a beautiful, healthy girl. Over the past four years that I have been a single mother, I’ve experienced many joys as well as trials. While I have no regrets, mothering is a full-time job that takes 100 percent of my being. As a mother, I am relieved that I have the choice to decide when and how I will construct my family. In a time when services to women and children are being cut, I would like to see organizations stop the moral battering and use their resources to help women raise their children.
Aimee: It is important to provide people with support, adequate information and safe choices. In the literature Carol Everett writes, “in reality, an abortion is excruciatingly painful. I know because I had one.” I had one too, and it wasn’t physically painful. I was able to research my options and go to a reputable provider. It is unfortunate that this woman went to an inept clinic. If access to abortion is unavailable or illegal, it will only increase the amount of harmful, painful procedures – unregulated and dangerous.
Polly: The advertisement went on to equate abortion with such things as kiddie porn, slavery and violence. We find this to be racist and misleading. It is a marketing technique to parallel abortion with horrific social taboos. Abortion is often the best choice for someone at that time in her life and can often be life saving for the mother. Slavery, kiddie porn and violence have nothing to do with abortion.
The advertisement states, “a doctor treating a sexual assault victim should advise against abortion precisely because of the traumatic nature of the pregnancy … the mother and child are helped by preserving life not by perpetuating violence.” This is only true if you believe abortion is violence. People need to be given a choice based on their belief systems.
Aimee: I am sad that I was ever in the place where I had to make the decision to abort; however, I will be eternally grateful for having the safe opportunity to make that choice at that time in my life. We need to keep the choice available for all women. We refuse to go back.
In honor of the 29th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade: a candlelight celebration at the First Congregational Church at 1126 S.W. Park Ave. 6-8 p.m., a spoken word performance by artist Alix Olsen at 6 p.m. in SMC 238 and a video showing of “If These Walls Could Talk” will take place in SMC 294 at 2 p.m.