As a woman, I always find it strange when I’m accused of hating women and wanting to rob them of their rights. Of course I don’t, but sometimes the actions I take and the opinions I present warrant that very accusation from others. I’m part of LifeChoice, the club that organized the flag display that got some students raging. Each flag represented 10 abortions, tallying up to 100,000 happening each year in Canada. It was a display presenting a point of view that many didn’t agree with.
Many people in support of abortion define ‘pro-life’ individuals as being ‘anti-woman’s rights’, but let me make this clear: I’m all for human rights. What being pro-life means is this: believing that all humans should get human rights, and these fundamental rights include the right to make our own choices, but yet, these choices must always take into consideration the harm they may bring to other humans. Here’s why we did what we did: Science tells us a human fetus is a living human being; most people are generally in agreement that all human beings have human rights; abortion violates the right to life; and in Canada, there is no legal protection for a human fetus at any point during pregnancy. Because of this, 100,000 innocent human beings are legally killed each year in Canada.
Making the statement that pre-born children should have their human rights recognized does not translate to “women shouldn’t have rights, and those who have abortions are evil.” We acknowledge that abortion is a complicated issue, and making it illegal is not going to solve the problems women experience. However, most people agree that no woman wants to have an abortion. Abortion isn’t pleasant, and very often it leaves women dealing with a lot of pain and trauma. If women don’t want abortions, and abortions also hurt women, and every year 100,000 women go through this, can’t we agree there’s a problem here?
We were making the point that both mother and child deserve better. Instead of Canada disregarding a woman’s struggles by simply providing her with a quick way to eliminate her child, can’t our country start providing the support that a woman needs to give her child life while not having to sacrifice her education or well-being?
An unplanned pregnancy during a time such as university would be unbelievably hard. Maybe abortion seems like the only choice, but our club wants women to know that it’s not. There ARE other options, and there ARE people who will help a woman make the right choice. For the sake of her child, there is a right choice. Sometimes, the right choices are the hardest ones. A woman who goes through with an unplanned pregnancy has to be incredibly brave, strong, and has to put up with a lot of challenges; we’re asking women to consider the hard choice and know that there’s support available.
For the women who have had abortions and for whom the choice has already been made—we don’t hate you nor do we want to shame you. I feel for how hard that choice must have been for you, and I hope you’re okay.
Our display led to a lot of false judgments about our club. I’m frustrated that a display that says “100,000 human beings lose their lives each year” was translated into “Let’s force desperate women to resort to coat hangers!” Regardless, we don’t regret what we did. It was a message from the point of view that, quite often, isn’t welcomed to speak out. It’s the point of view that speaks out for the rights of humans who can’t yet speak, while reaching out to help (not hate) their mothers who feel desperate enough to make life-ending choices. Does our point of view not have a right to be expressed?