Tim Stanley: The Last Celebration of Roe v. Wade
As a part of Minnesotaís National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) Tim Stanley came to inform us and promote involvement in pro-choice activism. He discussed his concern about the future of womenís rights and present legislation and politics that can affect this issue. Such subjects discussed were the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and how this decision may be affected by the 2000 presidential election, the Supreme Court case to ban the right of partial-birth abortions, teaching abstinence versus sex education, the 48-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed, lack of insurance coverage for abortions, the dominant pro-life representation in the House, and several others. This session was very informative, interesting, and interactive. I definitely left with things to think about.
I think that it is very important to hear both sides of stories despite what you believe. And that is just what I did. I grew up with 12 years of parochial schooling, my father is a deacon in the Catholic Church, my mother was employed by Natural Family Planning (NFP), and Iíve attended Pro-life rallies on past Roe v. Wade anniversaries so I my education on one side of the subject is quite extensive. Iíve been struggling between my religious beliefs and being a strong inter-dependent woman who wants to make a difference in the world and how I can correlate them into my own definition of feminism. Can I be a feminist and also have conflicting opinions to that of the movement as a whole such as being against abortion? I hope so.
It seems like there are some very important political matters in debate right now surrounding the issue of abortion, reproductive rights, and sex-education. I think that it is good that the Supreme Court is taking the case concerning partial-birth abortion. I think that this is particularly cruel and inhumane. I realized that I was in a room of pro-choicers but I was surprised at the support for partial-birth abortions. It makes me wonder if they know that a baby, up to the ninth month gestation, is delivered all but its head and then a scissors is put into its skull and the brains sucked out. There is no way that I could support something like that. I think that insurance should not cover an abortion because it is not a disease or affliction but a baby. No matter if you are using all the precautionary measures, there are always risks and it is the individualís duty to act responsibly and be accepting of the result of those actions.
Furthermore on the abortion issue, I think that at a minimum there should be the 48-hour waiting period. While it may be inconvenient, I think that this big of a decision should take considerable contemplation. I wonder if, under the circumstances, one can make good decisions with the desperate feelings and emotional overload they are experiencing. The song, The Brick by Benís Fold Five depicts how devastating an abortion was to the relationship he was in. I cannot imagine the emotional aftermath of an abortion.
The issue with teaching abstinence as sex education is something that I havenít formed a firm opinion about. Being at Catholic schools, I got the biological aspect of sex in health class and the catholic belief that sex is for pro-creation as an act of love between a heterosexual, married couple. In our society today, it seems impractical to expect people to abstain until marriage but I also think that the amount of people having sex with multiple partners is a staggering number. Our society is promoting sex so much that young adolescents feel pressure to have sex and this is where I think that teaching abstinence wouldnít hurt. There is no reason that twelve-year-olds should be having babies. I think that handing out condoms in high school may only encourage kids to have sex. If they so choose to have intercourse, contraceptives are sufficiently accessible.
During the discussion, there were references to ďthoseĒ pro-lifers and how they would get in the faces of those opposed to them and not listen to what others have to say. I know that there are some pro-lifers who have demonstrated violence towards providers and supporters of abortion but