Feminist group rethinks abortion rights

    A lecture titled “”The Feminist Case Against Abortion”” was presented by Feminists For Life President Serrin Foster on Nov. 6 at Price Center Theater. Abortion rights advocates, who distributed informational material prior to the talk, made their opinions known during a question-and-answer period.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    Anti-abortion sentiments of early American feminists, who supported life, provided the foundation for FFL’s argument. “”The Feminist Case Against Abortion”” is based on the feminist tenets of accepting all people’s rights without exception and rejecting the use of force to dominate one another.

    Foster criticized modern feminists, including the National Organization for Women, for cheering the Roe v. Wade decision as the emancipation of women. Since then, feminists have considered access to abortion to be a woman’s most fundamental right.

    Property will not be seized, votes will still count and women will still have free speech, Foster argued, whether they have access to abortion or not.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    One audience member asserted that the basic tenets of feminism that Foster named might only apply to the Western feminism. Third World nations, which may disagree with such views, are thus being neglected.

    FFL’s goal is to systematically eliminate reasons for abortion, most importantly the lack of financial resources and emotional support available to pregnant women.

    Many women say that having a baby would ruin their lives.

    “”Babies don’t ruin people’s lives,”” Foster said. “”Poverty ruins people’s lives. Unemployment ruins people’s lives. A lack of education ruins people’s lives. Violence ruins people’s lives.””

    To address the shortage of financial and emotional resources, Foster travels to colleges and universities all over the country to speak with students and bring together people from both sides of the debate to participate in pregnancy resource forums.

    FFL encourages women to “”refuse to choose,”” referring to the choice the organization believes women are forced to make between having a baby and having a career or an education.

    Foster emphasized the lack of resources available to pregnant women as the reason they have to make such a choice in the first place. At Yale University, students are offered three free abortions, yet they have no access to daycare.

    Foster also noted that it is rare to find pregnant women on college campuses, whether they are students or professors, citing that 47 percent of abortions are performed on 18- to 24-year-olds.

    At Georgetown University, where one of the pregnancy resource forums was held, programs have been implemented to build housing, deal with financial aid and make classes available to be taped and broadcasted through live feeds so that mothers don’t have to leave their babies.

    While most abortion rights advocates seemed to support the proposition of offering alternatives and resources to pregnant woman, they disagreed with FFL’s motto to “”refuse to choose,”” emphasizing the importance of still having the option to choose abortion.

    Much debate surrounded a story Foster told about a woman whose abusive boyfriend wanted her to have an abortion. The woman died from a botched procedure. The picture of her body was featured on the back cover of an issue of Ms.

    Pregnant women in abusive relationships are more vulnerable to violence, Foster said, which escalates during pregnancy.

    One woman criticized this as “”anecdotal evidence,”” citing statistics that a woman is seven times more likely to die while giving birth than during an abortion.

    Another woman disputed the relationship between pregnancy and abuse.

    “”Domestic violence is not about abortion,”” she said. “”It’s about violence and power.””

    A student in attendance from the University of San Diego said that students there agreed to have their own pregnancy resource forum.

    As a woman getting married and looking to attend medical school, she encouraged UCSD students to partake in a pregnancy resource forum.

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