Missouri’s 24-hour abortion law is reasonable
In regard to Missouri forcing us to wait with the recently passed abortion law that requires a 24-hour waiting period before receiving an abortion, I would like to mention Norma McCorvey’s (a.k.a. Jane Roe) efforts to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and Sandra Cano’s (a.k.a. Mary Doe) recent attempt to overturn the 1973 Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decision. Both women participated in lengthy and difficult trial proceedings to legalize abortion, which I presume they did not take light-heartedly, and now, years later, have changed their minds. Their reasons vary from claiming ignorance to learning new information since the trial proceedings.
My point is this: Isn’t 24 hours a needed time of reflection between receiving information from a licensed physician and an action that a woman and her unborn child must live with (or not live with) for the rest of their lives? It seems McCorvey and Cano needed 24+ years to sort out their feelings.
Class of 2005
When making a decision as difficult as whether or not to have an abortion, getting all the information about the consequences of the choices is important. With that said, abortion providers, who are running a lucrative business, are not going to voluntarily be a complete source of pros and cons of having an abortion. They are simply going to give the side that benefits their business. According to Joan Appleton, the former head nurse of Commonwealth Women’s Clinic in Washington D.C., she “never, ever had a doctor in [the] five years [she] was there who did abortions because he believed it was the right of the woman.” The “Right to Know” act simply ensures women get this information. These providers justifiably feel threatened by women who have access to more information about the consequences of choosing abortion. In a similar way, they are threatened by emerging ultrasound technology. Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Web site describes using ultrasound during an exam to “determine the age and size of the pregnancy.” Women that have seen ultrasound images, however, see something very different than a “pregnancy.” They are seeing a child. Abortion alternative clinics have seen a dramatic turnaround in the mindset of their patients after seeing these images. When they are provided information from the abortion clinics with wording that equates a pregnancy to a cancerous growth, it is no wonder that so many of them are shocked to see a tiny human being, moving and breathing, as opposed to an indistinguishable mass of tissue. Abortion providers do have reason to fear all new forms of information that these mothers are receiving, because it is business they are losing.
President, Students for Life
Class of 2005
Mia Eisen-Grynberg, in her recent editorial “Forcing us to wait: WU and the Missouri abortion law,” echoes once again that “convenience” is the necessary answer for mothers facing, as she herself concedes, “one of life’s most difficult decisions.” It would appear that her solution is for mothers to abort their babies (let’s not mince words here) with expedience without considering other options or the inherent dangers. The 24-hour waiting period recently legislated in Missouri for women seeking an abortion is reasonable precisely because at least two trips are needed to the abortionist. The risks of proceeding with an abortion are not insignificant as Ms. Eisen-Grynberg would suggest and should be clearly articulated as a service to mothers. These include sepsis, bleeding, infertility, breast cancer, and a host of long-term psychological problems. Medical data are available which substantiates these adverse outcomes. Anything less than a complete disclosure of the downside of an abortion is truly a calloused disregard of a woman’s well-being. Mothers should be given ample time and opportunity to become informed even if this means a “no-sale” for the economically driven abortion mills.
An informed, compassionate and selfless approach to this issue compels one to learn of the dangers of abortion and to reach out to those mothers in need of an alternative. Society must recognize the necessity of providing life-giving services as well as a supportive approach towards mothers with an unplanned or unfavorably timed pregnancy. Imagine a life-promoting attitude at school, at work, or in the media that says “we understand that this may be physically difficult or financially draining, but we will accept that you are carrying a baby who loves and needs you. (As in-utero imaging technology advances, the ability to verify this “baby” appearance and behavior becomes undeniable.) Counseling, child-care, and other assistance might be offered as a more charitable culture takes root. A paradigm shift in attitude towards respect for the baby’s life and the mother’s physical and emotional health serves as the driving force in this scenario of an advanced civilization.
Killing babies and scarring mothers’ psyches for a lifetime (not to mention the fathers’) is the mark of a barbaric culture and ought to be a concern of all members of a socially responsible institution, and especially for those who claim to be sensitive to women’s needs.
Katherine I. Martin
Class of 2007
I would like to respond to Wednesday’s piece assaulting Missouri’s new requirement that abortions occur only after a 24-hour waiting period. First, I think Ms. Eisner-Grynberg was a little harsh in her criticism of the University’s health facilities. Ã¿The University’s health system exists to serve the medical and psychological needs of their patients, not their political needs.Ã¿She suggests that the Health Services were remiss in their failure to respond to this “appalling contravention of justice.” They’re medical professionals not lobbyists, and I don’t want to see my insurance premiums increase simply to employ more individuals for lobbying purposes.Ã¿I can turn to a variety of political and non-profit organizations for that. Second, I would question if this is really an “appalling contravention of justice.” Ã¿Regardless of your feelings about the inherent rightness or wrongness of abortion, you should welcome this new legislation. Ã¿If you’re opposed to abortion, the new legislation should be at least temporarily pleasing in that it will likely reduce the raw numbers of those who actually proceed with the treatment. If you favor abortion rights, you should recognize that it will likely strengthen the status quo (choice) and blunt attacks from the “moral majority.” Ã¿The purpose of the law is to ensure that a woman understands what she is doing. Ã¿While abortion is legal throughout Europe, most Americans don’t realize that it’s often easier to get an abortion here. Ã¿Many European countries require waiting periods, second opinions, and even counseling before and/or after the procedure. Ã¿The intent isn’t to eliminate abortion, but to provide it in a context where informed decisions can be made. Ã¿ Finally, I agree that students should have more access to correct information. Ã¿Abortion is a procedure that can be dangerous, both physically and psychologically, and should occur, if at all, in an environment of informed consent. Ã¿There are many options for those facing unwanted pregnancy and help is widely available. Ã¿No woman should have to make this decision alone when so many resources exist.
School of Law
Class of 2006
State politics matter
In the September 26 staff editorial “State Politics Should Matter,” Student Life raised a very important point students in this state should be concerned with the happenings in Jefferson City. For four years of our lives we are Missourians; what goes on at the state’s capitol certainly affects us. However, I would hope that the editorial staff would, in urging students to pay more attention to Missouri’s happenings, be less blatantly one-sided and more concerned with the facts.
The article glosses over the idea of citizens carrying concealed firearms as though the book has been closed on the subject, with the entire WU community asserting “Guns are bad.” This is hardly the case. First of all, this campus has an amazingly high number of students who are overjoyed that the Missouri Senate overrode Holden’s veto. These are students who know the facts, such as that in every state where it is legal to obtain a carry license the crime rate has fallen after the law became active. A 1992 FBI crime report noted states in which the ability to carry a concealed firearm is severely restricted or prohibited experience the highest violent crime rates overall.
Furthermore, the article claims that it is terribly unnerving to think that the person sitting next to you on the Metro might be licensed to have a firearm. Take the time to do a little research, and one will discover that it is extremely rare for citizens with carry licenses to commit crimes, less than one-tenth of a percent. As for accidental shootings, adults are far more likely to be killed by falling or poisoning than being killed accidentally by a firearm; children are more likely to die by drowning or bicycle accidents.
If there is any fear about being near someone legally carrying a concealed firearm, that fear most likely stems from the mystery the firearm poses to that person. Eliminate the mystery (i.e. learn how to safely use a firearm), and one will eliminate the fear. In fact, the only individuals who should be frightened by the thought of law-abiding, legally licensed firearms carriers are criminals.
The book on firearms rights and gun control is certainly not closed. I could go on further, citing fact after fact, but for the sake of space I will stop here and simply add that when addressing an issue such as this, one can prey on baseless emotions or one can present the facts. However, here perhaps it is up to the students themselves to search for real information. And the WU community should indeed pay more attention to the Jefferson City happenings. While they’re at it, I would also urge them to thank the Missouri Senate for a job well done!
Chairwoman, WU College Republicans
Vice Chairwoman, Missouri Federationof College Republicans
Founder, On Target Student Firearms and Second Amendment Club
Class of 2004
Flaherty’s response is naâ€¹ve
I never thought I would say this, but Scott Flaherty and Donald Rumsfeld are bedfellows, albeit strange ones. I was greatly perturbed by the “Rumsfeldian” tone of Scott Flaherty’s letter on September 17, which was written in response to my op-ed piece that ran earlier this month. Mr. Flaherty, a committed libertarian who owns a sweatshirt that reads “Ayn Rand University,” asserted that if U.S. “objectives are in line with other countries then we can work with them…if not, to hell with other countries.” On the surface, this claim seems almost elegant in its simplicity, but in reality, it is merely a manifestation of naâ€¹vetâ€š and nearsightedness.
With the rapid growth of China and its preexisting resources, who is to say that this country will not be a superpower within a quarter century? Moreover, further European integration and the development of an E.U. military may be a reality by the end of this decade. Does any American really want to be enemies with an entity that could include over 500 million people and an economy larger than that of the U.S.? Yet if the U.S. continues down the road of unilateralism, this could very well be the case, as trans-Atlantic relations are most likely further deteriorating as I write this letter.
The naâ€¹vetâ€š of Mr. Flaherty’s argument is illustrated when he writes, “It is the duty of the American president to convince the American people, and no others, to support those actions he deems in our national interests.” Yet this claim fails to account for the fact that what the president deems to be in our national interests may not really be in our national interests at all. President Herbert Hoover thought that the Hawley-Smoot Tariff was in U.S. interests, but was it? Judging by the fact that this tariff spawned the worst depression in modern history, which in turn led to the rise of Hitler and World War II, I, in my expert opinion, would say no. The interesting thing about this tariff is that it was grounded in a simple, seemingly elegant philosophy: when our foreign policy objectives are not in line with those of other countries, go it alone. Well, at least the Hoover administration didn’t make U.S. interests subservient to those of other countries.
Class of 2005
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