Julia Lucas, Staff Writer
Earlier this year, only separated by one day, was the March for Life and the Women’s March. Each march had entirely different viewpoints on one of the most controversial topics in American society, abortion. On the Jan. 19, Washington D.C. held the March for Life, which brought people from all over the country to provide support for the pro-life campaign. Only 24 hours later, the second national Women’s March occurred. All over the country, women and men joined a local march to fight for women’s rights, including the right to abortion. Everyone has their own personal opinion on abortion, which causes disagreements all over the United States and overseas. Saint Martin’s students are the same as the rest of the country in holding conflicting views on abortion. Several Saint Martin’s students have been interviewed for this article, but to protect their privacy, names will be changed.
As Saint Martin’s University is a Catholic college, the school’s view falls under pro-life. The Saint Martin’s administration holds a “Mass for Life” every year, with this year falling on the Jan. 22. Many students on campus agree with the school’s viewpoint and feel strongly that abortion should be illegal. The majority of interviewed students who are against abortion, spoke about how an unborn child already has a soul. They all believe that while the child has not taken a breath yet, he or she should be considered a full-fledged human. Richard, a senior, said, “Once the woman finds out she is pregnant, the baby is a part of her. The baby is real and was conceived for a reason.” Many students who belong to an organized religion disagree with abortion because religions traditionally do not support abortions. Katie, who identifies as Christian, replied, “I was always taught that abortion should be illegal because God created that child for a specific reason, no matter what. My religion tells me to disagree with abortion, but as an individual, I still believe it is wrong.” The most common critique for pro-life advocates is that once the child is born, there is often no fight to keep the child safe and healthy. A question asked was: In order to prevent an abortion, would you help take care of a child? A freshman, Sarah, replied, “Personally, I would not take care of the child because there are plenty of other options for a mother who did not want the child. A mother can drop the child off at a fire station, put the child up for adoption, and a lot of other things. The mom can give her baby to plenty of organizations that would be happy to take him or her in.” Pro-life advocates have strong arguments for why abortion should be illegal, revolving around religious views, adoption options, and more.
While a large number of students at Saint Martin’s identify as pro-life, there is still a population who believe that abortion should be legal. The main arguments revolve around women’s rights, and how the government should not tamper with those rights. One quote by sophomore, Eugene, read, “I don’t necessarily agree with abortion, but I don’t think the government should be able to determine what a woman can and can’t do with her body. A lot of the arguments against abortion are religiously based, and I think we need to keep church and state separate.” While no other students said the exact words that Eugene did, many spoke similarly of women’s rights. One of the biggest arguments for abortion is that every situation is different. Rachel, a freshman, believes, “Every woman has a different reason for abortion. Rape is a huge issue in our society, and plenty of people get pregnant from being raped. Women also could be harmed by carrying the baby to full term, they could be financially unstable, or they could be too young.” Another student, Avery, built on this idea, “No woman truly wants to have an abortion. Abortions can still harm women and cause them emotional pain. If a woman decides to have an abortion, she probably has a good reason.” Pro-choice students overall do not like the idea of abortion but believe that it should be legal for different reasons.
Out of the students interviewed for this article, most of the men identified as pro-life, and most women were pro-choice. Even with these statistics, there were still some outliers who felt differently and were in the opposite group as the rest of their gender. Whether you believe abortion should be legal or illegal, there are arguments to support each side. These differences can bring lively debates into the classroom and the outside world. We are still one united campus, no matter what our personal beliefs. We should always remember this when having a discussion because respecting each other’s opinions is an important part of making classroom settings interesting and lively.