Letters to the Editor


“”Wellstone Memorial turns into political rally”” (Nov. 7 issue of the Guardian) is the most transparent example of political opportunism. Not only did the Republicans steal the election after Paul Wellstone’s death, but they also shamelessly denied his family and friends the right to mourn his death and celebrate his life.

What is more obscene than their whining about the lack of respect shown for Wellstone in an exuberant celebration of his life and work? Shame on them! They never understood, nor will ever understand, his passionate commitment to true democracy. No matter how they try, there is no way they can tarnish his legacy nor the legacy of the people who loved and supported him.

— Tanja Winter

Board Member, Activist San Diego

Both sides of abortion debate have same goal


I was one of the few men in attendance at a self-proclaimed pro-life feminist presentation Wednesday night, one of even fewer who was without the company of a female. I listened as a well-spoken woman proposed numerous, substantive ideas that would make life better for women, especially those who are pregnant. She explained in great detail how the practice of abortion was abominable to early feminists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The entire presentation was trying to point out that there are many reasons not to have abortions. Not once was criminalizing abortion mentioned either in her speech or in the literature provided. This points to the single biggest misconception of the pro-life movement and the most glaring inconsistency of the feminist movement (which apparently is now inextricably linked to the pro-choice/pro-life debate) as it is manifested today.

Not all people who are anti-abortion want abortion criminalized; the reduction in the occurrence of abortions is the goal, or rather it should be. This woman spent an hour detailing programs that would give women more choices than abortion and try to stop the occurrence of abortion by attacking its roots. As soon as the floor opened up for questions, she was lambasted by a campus feminist group for trying to “”take away a woman’s right to choose.”” News flash: The only thing not mentioned in her entire presentation was taking away a woman’s right to choose.

The speaker was criticized for “”demonizing the National Organization for Women.”” Yes, N.O.W. has done a lot for the women’s movement, but not every feminist supports all of their litigation-inspiring positions. I would urge any feminist to look into the Independent Women’s Forum and see that you don’t have to support N.O.W. to be a feminist, and you don’t have to have a vagina to be a feminist either — something I am sure would come as a shock to many so-called open-minded individuals.

Why can’t the new feminist movement approach this issue without hiding behind fear tactics talking about threatening women’s rights? Why not embrace this speaker for trying to promote programs that give women a variety of alternatives to abortion, without infringing on her right to have one? Why can’t a movement that preaches against discrimination stop alienating males from an issue that is 50 percent related to them? This approach to abortion of the unified pro-choice/feminist movement alienates many who are supportive of the true feminist ideology: that a woman should have every right that a man has.

Has no one stopped to consider that a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion is not in danger? It is a constitutional right, meaning no legislation can be passed that infringes on that right. If it were to happen it would be overturned by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional under precedent. What about if President George W. Bush “”stacks”” the Supreme Court with “”conservative”” justices, you ask? Would that be anything like the “”liberal”” court that made the Roe v. Wade decision?

Mark my words, the only way abortion becomes illegal is if a constitutional amendment is passed. Can you imagine three-quarters of the states passing that? It’s about time people woke up to the reality that the right to choose is not going away, and that people who say it is are simply trying to glean votes from the women’s voter bloc.

How about pro-choicers and pro-lifers try to stop the occurrence of unwanted pregnancies, thereby keeping as many women as possible from having to make the agonizing decision of whether to exercise their constitutional right to have an abortion? I wonder if abortion were perfectly legal and accessible yet never occurred, whether either side would then be happy. Unfortunately, I doubt it.

— Evan Rowley

Earl Warren College junior