Understanding, not judgement

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The lawn in front of Dallas Hall was adorned with flags last week by Mustangs for Life, to commemorate lives lost to abortion each day. (Courtesy of Mustangs for Life)

Recently I was leaving a class in Dallas Hall when I happened upon a lawn full of flags. “There is hope and healing after abortion,” read one of the signs just outside the epicenter

of campus.

 

I would agree. There is hope and healing after abortion. But this is not the way to bring it about. This demonstration does nothing more than shame women who have had to make incredibly difficult medical decisions.

You don’t know the circumstances surrounding women’s choices.

Imagine for a moment that you’re a victim of rape or incest. There is no good choice in that situation.

Shaming women by shoving rubber stamp baby feet in their faces in the middle of campus? Surely there are better ways to promote life.

Or imagine you’re a middle-aged woman, married, with stable finances. You’re ready to start a family. In fact, you can’t wait. But, unbeknownst to you, something went wrong, some little biological mutation happened, and now the child you’ve been dreaming about has a fetal abnormality such as anencephaly that will cause it to die minutes after its birth.

Again, there are no good options. Reminding every passerby that a fetus has a heartbeat is not hopeful or respectful.

In short, try and imagine, for a moment, that you are not the judge of morality for anyone else but yourself. Try and imagine that judging and condemning an entire group of people based on circumstances that you don’t know is not the “hopeful” course of action, and it certainly doesn’t promote healing.

This is your “Memorial of Innocents,” according to your signs. Mustangs for Life, where are the flags for the 16 million American children who live in food-insecure households?

Where are the flags for the 1.6 million children who will be homeless this year?

What about the 50,000 teenage girls and young women who die during pregnancy and childbirth every year?

What about the more than 23,000 kids a year who will age out of the foster care system and face heightened odds of experiencing homelessness, poor health, unemployment, and incarceration as adults?

Opposing abortion without actively fighting for the living, breathing, thinking children who are suffering is not pro-life.

The best way to prevent abortion is to advocate for comprehensive sex education in schools, widespread access to contraceptives and promotion of affordable, preventive health care. These are ways to protect life; shaming women
is not.

Abortion is certainly not a desirable option. But before you confront women who have undergone the experience with your moral judgment, take a moment to think about who you’re really saving.

Day is a junior majoring in English and psychology.

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