Don’t say that too loud.

by Rebecca Richmond

In class this morning I was chatting with the guy who sits next to me about school and mentioned the fact that I was heavily involved with a club on campus. When asked what club, I replied, “Ottawa Students for Life. The pro-life club on campus.”

“Careful. Don’t say that too loud,” he warned with a smile.

Why? Because the class we were in was Feminist Theories, a third year Women’s Studies course I’m taking as an elective. I’ve spent a good portion of my year in classes related to gender issues and even when the class isn’t related, I tend to gear my essays towards life and women’s issues.

That conversation should not have taken place. It should be perfectly natural for me to broadcast my pro-life affiliations and beliefs and to not attract stares, angry glances, and cold or hostile words. But in any sort of course related to women’s issues, and in many other disciplines as well I’m sure, this isn’t the case.

Please believe me when I say that I don’t consider all women’s studies students to be intolerant or belligerent and there are, I’m sure, a few pro-lifers among them.

My point is that a pro-life position is generally considered antithetical to a pro-woman or feminist position. I, however, believe the opposite. I believe that being pro-life is to be pro-woman. I could articulate my viewpoint further, using plain speech or even feminist jargon but I’ll let you hear it from Andrea Mrozek, the founder of the popular blog (see the ad at the top of our blog).

I will say this, however. On January 28 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Canada’s abortion law as unconstitutional, leaving in its wake a vacuum of law. Now women across Canada are taught to believe that this is a simple procedure that won’t hurt or have long term consequences. This vacuum of law has rendered women vulnerable to the pain, the physical consequences, and the emotional bereavement that abortion can carry with it. It has made discrimination against fetuses for any reason legal, including gender (sex-selective abortion) and developmental (abortion of developmentally challenged and handicapped individuals).

It’s time for society to speak up. Women deserve better.

5 thoughts on “Don’t say that too loud.

  1. Pingback: ProWomanProLife » Coming very soon to a university near you

  2. vivian li

    “This vacuum of law has rendered women vulnerable to the pain, the physical consequences, and the emotional bereavement that abortion can carry with it.”

    I hope you are aware that, if abortion were criminalized again, women would suffer immensely more. Without access to legal, safe abortion, women who seek it will be forced to opt for underground, unsafe procedures (think coat-hangers) where their health and lives are put in jeopardy. This in turn leads to huge numbers of women dying unnecessary and preventable deaths every year, precisely because safe and legal abortion is outlawed in their countries. Additionally, giving birth is a lot more dangerous, and has many more potential complications, than getting an abortion – just for your information.

    As for the ’emotional bereavement’ you mention, a major contributing reason why some of the women who choose abortion develop emotional problems is because, generally speaking, shame is instilled upon them by society; thus, a large portion of the negative emotions felt by these women actually stem from artifical, external pressures generated by society, rather than originating internally. That is, societal shaming creates the feelings of guilt, when there was none (or minimal) to begin with.

    And might I also add that just because post-partum depression exists, doesn’t mean women shouldn’t give birth. Hence, the same reasoning should also apply to abortion.
    (The mere possibility of negative feelings which may occur in a small number of women post-abortion does not even come close as a convincing reason to avoid it. And in reality, most women actually feel relief after an abortion.)

    “It has made discrimination against fetuses for any reason legal, including gender (sex-selective abortion) and developmental (abortion of developmentally challenged and handicapped individuals).”

    Your reasoning is erroneous here. Abortion itself is not the cause of sex- and disability-selective abortions; the causes are, respectively, sexism and ableism. Abortions performed on the basis of sex or ability are the consequences of a world in which women and people with disabilities are seen as inferior and/or worthless. Parents who are brainwashed by sexism to regard daughters as a liability, will understandably try to prevent the birth of a female from happening in the first place; and the same goes for parents who desire only able-bodied children. It’s sexism and ableism that’s responsible.

    Think of abortion as a tool similar to a butter knife: it can be used to spread jam on toast (i.e. for good purposes), or it can be used to kill (i.e. for malicious purposes). Most often, abortion is used for good purposes – that is, it is used to enable women to meet their legitimate needs regarding unwanted pregnancy. In a minority of cases, abortion can be contorted (just like with most other things) into a malicious tool used to serve prejudicial/eugenic purposes, but realize that in these cases, they are the products of a prejudiced world – not the result of the legalization of abortion itself.

  3. Vivian

    Hmm… why has my previous comment mysteriously disappeared? Why don’t you stop being a coward and attempt to refute my arguments instead of hiding them away? After all, if your “pro-life” stance is so infallible to refutation, you should be able to defend your arguments without a problem, right?

    Anyway, as I’ve pointed out, your reasoning is erroneous regarding your assertion that gender and disability selective abortion is due to the accessibility of abortion. Abortion itself is *not* the cause of gender and disability selective abortion – the causes are, respectively, sexism and ableism. It is the presumed inferiority of women and people with disabilities which has lead to parents attempting to prevent their births, precisely because they are seen as liabilities. The accessibility/legality of abortion really has nothing to do with it.

    Also, I’d like to mention again that a large part of the reason some women who undergo abortion may experience “emotional bereavement” is because, generally, society tends to shame post-abortion women. It’s the same analogy with homosexuals feeling emotional turmoil due to societal shaming. A lot of these feelings of shame and guilt are actually imposed externally by society, rather than stemming from internal, innate sources.

    1. uOttawa Students For Life Post author

      Dear Vivian,
      While I am not the post author, I can speak on behalf of the club that we have NOT deleted your comment and have no interest in being cowardly or in surpressing your arguments.
      I will say that you are unlikely to receive an answer from the poster, as Ms. Richmond has graduated and may not be aware that you have commented.
      I can alert her to your comments, though.
      Thank you,


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