Know Your “Rights”

By Carly Elizabeth Stauffer, Pacific Lutheran University Students for Life

I recently partook in a tabling event in the University Center with PLU Students for Life Club. The goal of our display was to educate the campus community about the violence of abortion towards not only the unborn, but also towards women. Our club is no stranger to controversy, and we know to expect everything from dirty looks to protests. The opportunity to have challenging, thoughtful, and perspective-shifting conversations is worth the potential discomfort.

There is one response to displays such as these, however, that saddens me most of all – it is the refusal to take the risk of having your opinion changed. Not long after we began to table did social media posts warn to steer clear of the UC lest our table be encountered. I think this is a most un-PLU thing to do. What happened to challenging your perspective and engaging in thoughtful inquiry, Lutes? And where does abortion fit into care for others, the community, and the earth?

The desire to avoid encountering information as disturbing as the reality of abortion is reasonable. But how do you develop a valid opinion of abortion if you refuse to investigate what it actually is? If you make a conscious effort to steer clear of any information that will challenge your viewpoint, how can you possibly be confident you are on the right side of history? I understand the temptation to don your female genitalia-inspired hat and shout “My body, my choice!” – it’s catchy, and everybody’s doing it. But I beg you to investigate what it is you are actually shouting for. I find it outrageous that a generation that likes to call itself progressive stands with Planned Parenthood and marches for abortion, not knowing the utter barbarism with which it is associating itself.

Our display included an attention-grabbing banner proclaiming “Abortion is Violent.” While many unfortunately rushed to the conclusion that the banner was intended to shame women who have had or have considered an abortion, those who took the time to converse with us found that Students for Life Club is of the opinion that there are two victims in an abortion – the mother and the child. We do not advocate shame of the mother – but we are vocal about our disgust of the deplorable actions of the king of the abortion industry, Planned Parenthood. We are outraged that this abortion mogul has lied to countless women, assuring them that abortion is the answer to their problems – and making a buck off of it.

Women are driven to seek abortion by heart-breaking situations, and, as has been voiced to me many times, the unavailability of “safe,” legal abortion has led women to do terribly tragic things. I do not claim that the question of what to do in these scenarios has a black and white answer – but I do claim that if more people were aware of the reality of abortion, it would be a tragedy vastly less commonplace. I also refuse to condone the propagation of the message that in such difficult circumstances, the ending of a life is the best solution; women (and the unborn) deserve better.

The procedure by which a baby is aborted is the stuff of horror films. Depending on when the abortion occurs with regard to the baby’s development, the procedure may involve a syringe to the (beating) heart to induce a heart attack, the tearing apart of the body, limb from limb, or the breaking of the neck. It is noteworthy that the tools used to accomplish these procedures must be inserted into the woman, and inherently pose the risk of causing her great harm. Even the least invasive procedure, the “abortion pill,” has the potential of causing a woman severe emotional trauma, and has led to the death of the mother due to excessive bleeding. Abortion is undoubtedly violent – for both humans involved.

I expect that this article has caused some discomfort – and it should. We should not be comfortable with the current abortion situation in our country. But perhaps you are angry with me, too. While this was not my goal, I will admit that, with all due respect, I was not seeking your approval or applause. This is for those who cannot yet speak for themselves – but who will someday. This is for the babies.