For the past two days on my campus, there has been a massive petition promoting the pro-life stance. In the center of the diag, where the petition is taking place, stands an approximate 20x30 ft area with large photographs. On one of the four sides of the structure are photos of fetuses. Some are of developed bodies while others are of mangled limbs. The photos made me uneasy, but not angry. I continued walking around the square structure and noticed that the rest of the photographs were entirely different and not about abortion at all. In front of me I saw photos of emaciated bodies laying dead in piles. I saw the swastika, and images of African-American's being lynched. I saw back a portrait of an abused child. I wanted to cover my eyes, but resisted. Rather than fall victim to the petitioner's pathetic scare tactics, I stared right back at the disturbing images presented to me. My friend and I conversed, and after deciding that we both were highly offended, went over to one of the young women handing out pro-life brochures. We asked her to explain the provocative comparison. First, she started explaining the term genocide. I told her I knew what the term genocide meant. She apologized, then continued to tell me that approximately 37,000 fetuses are murdered a year which indicates a mass genocide. She told me that if she were a Jew in Nazi Germany she would hope that people would be brave enough to stand in the diag of a campus like U of M's and fight for her life. This infuriated me. I walked away feeling more angry and confused than I had to begin with.
Personally, I believe in the women's right to choose. I don't know what I would do if I had an unplanned pregnancy. I couldn't possibly know how I would feel upon realizing that there was a baby growing inside of me and I couldn't possibly say what I would choose to do with that baby since I have never experienced such a thing. However, I am certain that I would NOT be comfortable with the government or any other superior force deciding for me. I don't necessarily believe that abortion is the right option for all circumstances, but who am I to judge what one women believes is right for her body? Also, it's important to recognize that being pro-choice is not synonymous with being pro-abortion. By being pro-choice, I feel that not I nor any other figure should be so powerful that they could dictate a decision such as whether or not SOMEONE ELSE should bear a child. Especially men, for that matter. I could not help but wonder who these men think they are, standing and petitioning vehemently against abortion rights. After all, how can one hold an opinion on something that they will never in their life experience?
I can clearly see the other side of the argument. I can see why the petitioners compare abortion to genocide, because to them, fetuses ARE people. I can see why government officials feel that it is their duty to abolish abortion because what type of government would promote the mass killing of any peoples? I can see why men feel justified in sharing their views despite the fact that they will never experience what the women do, similarly to how I support and will proudly promote gay marriage as a straight women. I can see why the petitioners use these facts to support their case, and I understand where they are coming from. However, in a case such as this one, I believe that only one side of the argument can be right. My side is the right side. Pro-choice is the right side.