Considering their history, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by yesterdays coverage of Project-Truth, but I have to say the Emerald really dropped the ball on another critically important issue to do with women’s health and rights.
By calling counter-protesters “pro-abortion,” the author linguistically ignores the complexity of abortion as an issue of women’s health, economic empowerment, and social freedom. Abortion is one of the most important issues for college age voters in this election, and groups like Project-Truth do nothing to encourage rational debate of the issue in hopes of informing voters. Groups like Project-Truth are interested in one thing, and one thing only: making abortion illegal. If Project-Truth and groups like them actually cared about the lives of children, they would be lobbying for services like subsidized childcare, mandatory and state-protected paid maternity leave for both parents, access to exceptional pre- and post-natal healthcare for the woman and child, and economic equality.
The “welfare of the innocent life” argument made by pro-life activists doesn’t hold any weight. It is trite, emotionally charged rhetoric designed to obscure greater issues of economic disparity, and racial and gender inequality. It assumes that all pregnancies are healthy for the mother and child, that the potential parents are equipped financially, physically, and emotionally for parenthood, and that women who consider abortion are child-like and unable to make rational, informed decisions on their social, economic, and health situations.
The Emerald calling pro-choice activists “pro-abortion” only serves to solidify the asinine assumption that abortion is a black-and-white issue where you are either ‘anti’ or ‘pro.’ In my experience as a reproductive justice activist, I have never once had a pro-choice colleague argue for abortion as a form of birth control, or discuss it without a grave understanding of the complexity of the situation in terms of social and economic location. Instead of arguing in circles over where life does and does not begin, and pointing fingers at who does and does not hold sanctity for human life, we should focus our efforts on creating a world and system which does not privilege access to services like child and healthcare. If we lived with a system that made adequate food, housing, healthcare, childcare, and wages accessible to all people, the burden of having children would not be so great and abortion would be less and less common. Groups like Project-Truth should be focusing on social justice issues that equalize the playing field, not on outlawing abortion.
UO Alumna, WGS 2012