Vanessa Gonzalez: Roe v. Wade Event

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The event I attended on campus was a presentation on the controversial Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. The presenter had personal experience of an abortion during the times after the legalization. She had a  friend, who died of an illegal abortion, before Roe v Wade. The presenter shared impacting data such as 30% of annual maternal deaths were caused by illegal abortions. Those illegal abortions were either self induced or unsanitary. A possible cause was the social shift of a new wave of women college students after the GI Bill was passed.Many could then afford college. Colleges requested parent permission to hand out contraception.Students were ashamed, embarrassed, and did not want to violate the religious norm of premarital sex therefore practiced unsafe sex. The increased co-ed population led to many unplanned pregnancies leaving young women to resort to illegal abortions. Medically and legally a fetus was a life that could not be ended.

This is significant because people affected by illegal abortions still live among us, and they are able to tell their stories. Those stories that contradict the ideal of secularism that the United States presents. The arguments for the “Pro Life” campaigns are based on religious views, yet so are the arguments against using birth control. Religions such as Catholicism claim that birth control is type of murder which prevent life from occurring. On the contrary many protestors hold up signs such as “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries” highlighting the fact that secularism in the American government is a myth. It is contradictory to believe in  “Pro Life” when many lives are lost to illegal procedures or neglect. This opens the question then what is considered a life that needs saving? Bringing light to the issues of individuals, groups, or societies developing their own definitions and criteria. This discussion is also seen in religion specially when the origin of religion is being argued.

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