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OPINION: The great Republican lie: their commitment to life

As a liberal, a lot of conservative politics seem very appealing at first glance. Skimming over Louisiana congressman Mike Johnson’s 7 Core Principles of Conservatism, the appeal is easy to see.

Individual freedom? Absolutely! Human dignity? Well, of course, who would be against that? Holding the government financially accountable? With over 30 trillion dollars in federal debt, that seems to be a necessity.

Republican politicians tout a laissez-faire approach to both the economy and the government—citizens should be able to live on their terms with minimal interference from the government. Brilliant! Freedom!

It all sounds great until you start to listen beyond all the catchphrases and buzzwords. While their stance on healthcare seems to be very focused on individual freedoms at first glance (aka individual responsibility in choosing doctors and paying for them,)it became clear in the first GOP debate that those freedoms only extend so far.

You have the freedom to take on absurd amounts of medical debt, but in terms of mental health care, transitioning and abortions, these GOP candidates become much more interested in an authoritarian approach. In other words, they’re all for individual liberty until it no longer suits them.

We can see a similar principle with the recently rejected Issue 1.  As it currently stands, the state constitution can be changed with a simple majority: 50% plus one vote. This bill sought to raise that majority to 60% plus one vote. 

While it was rejected earlier this month, the Republican-led initiative had one primary goal. In November, voters will head to the polls once again to vote on the heart of the issue—a bill that will enshrine the right to abortion and reproductive health care in the state constitution. If they had passed Issue 1, it would have been significantly harder to cement that right.

Second-year Kent State visual communication design student Olivia Asp voted no on Issue 1, recognizing “that politics are extremely polarized right now,” and she saw it as a ridiculous notion that how state elections are run should be changed with “Issue 1 being solely about abortion.”

Abortion rights have been a hot topic on the Kent campus for quite a while. Last year, there was constant petitioning, hoping for initiatives to protect a woman’s right to choose along with those hoping to illegalize abortion in Ohio, many focusing specifically on Issue 1.

There were some more notable protests as well, including a very memorable display put on by The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform as part of their college campus-focused Genocide Awareness Project.  Their presence sparked a counter-protest on campus, overlapping with the Protect Choice Ohio advocates who were there at the same time.

The CBR relies strongly on the shock factor that the disturbing imagery they display causes. On their website, the first image you are greeted by is a graphic video of a late-term abortion being performed.

While many students found it to be offensive and misleading, many other pro-life students, like fourth-year communications major Rachael Domino, “felt the pro-life signs displaying a fetus showed the reality of ending a life. But I definitely think there are less intrusive ways to change minds.”

Asp, however, saw them “promoting Christianity as this fear-mongering sort of thing,” feeling that they misrepresented her faith, saying, “That’s not what I think Christianity stands for.”

Everything about their campaign is meant to confuse and shock people, relying on incredibly graphic imagery and drastic comparisons to get their point across. However, the CBR claims on their website the “success” of their Genocide Awareness Project is “not due merely to the ‘shock value’ of their images. At its core GAP is an educational outreach.”

Despite their claims of seeking to educate students, we can see many similarities between their campaign, the recent Issue 1 rejection and these hypocritical assertions from Republican politicians.  

Their “education” includes promoting incredibly unreliable forms of birth control, condemning the use of contraceptives and instead suggesting methods like charting cervical mucus and body temperature, along with the Lactational Amenorrhea Method. The lactation method essentially involves the few months of infertility a woman experiences while lactating—the time frame of which varies wildly from woman to woman and cannot be depended upon.

The primary effect of their demonstrations is a sense of discord at the colleges they visit.  

I feel a sense of division in our school when I’m hearing so much hate,” Domino said.  “Whether it be about abortion or first amendment rights, us as Kent State students should be able to protest without being violent and screaming to get a point across.”

Pro-life protests, like the one put on by CBR, rarely involve genuine education and rely on alarmist language and techniques. This is not a new technique—that form of fear-mongering is a classic political move.

Trump’s primary tactic in the 2016 and 2020 elections was pointing out all the horrible things that could happen if he wasn’t elected. Of course, those mysterious threats of immigration and the wall that would supposedly save us from this ghostly issue never came to fruition.

If we allow trans teenagers to transition, all the children will. If we increase gun control, nobody will be able to defend themselves. If we have free healthcare, we’ll become a communist state.  If any form of LGBTQ+ media or education is allowed in schools, everyone will be gay. If Starbucks employees say “Happy Holidays,” the Christian faith will go extinct.

And according to the Ohio Right to Life, “On November 7th, 2023, state-sanctioned murder will be on the ballot.”

It’s an endless cycle of hypotheticals and what-ifs, with no evidence of the consequences or any follow-through on the proposed solutions.

Virginia is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Virginia Doherty, Opinion Writer
Virginia is a sophomore majoring in history and art history with minors in marketing and non-profit studies. She enjoys writing about politics, history, religion, and fashion.
Contact her at [email protected]

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    Bradley MartelOct 11, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    Shocking abortion photos

    KentWired opinion writer Virginia Doherty, in her September 11 column, commented on the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) that the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) recently conducted on the Kent State campus. She observes, correctly, that abortion images are shocking and disturbing. That’s because abortion is shocking and disturbing. Anyone with a functioning conscience is appalled by images of little human beings who have been decapitated and dismembered. Is it logical to argue that pictures of abortion are shocking, disturbing, or “offensive,” yet the act of abortion is somehow okay?

    Doherty reports that many students found our presentation to be “misleading,” but we offer the following evidence that the photos are real, with ages correctly identified: (1) embryology textbooks which graphically depict embryos and fetuses at every stage of development, (2) an affidavit from a former abortion doctor, which you can view on our website, AbortionNo org, (3) on-camera statements by Tammy Sobieski, a Florida abortion clinic operator, who said that our pictures are “the reality of abortion,” and (4) “The Biology of Prenatal Development,” a video distributed by National Geographic, which is available at www EHD org. So, we have embryology textbooks, an affidavit from an abortion doctor, the public statement of an abortion clinic operator, and a National Geographic video. That’s what we have. What do our detractors have?

    CBR does not “promote” methods of birth control. We do, however, inform those who wish to avoid killing human beings regarding birth control methods which act as abortifacients, that is, methods which destroy the embryo rather than prevent fertilization.

    Doherty quotes a student who sees the GAP as “promoting Christianity as this fear-mongering sort of thing.” The GAP display does not contain a Christian message, nor do we engage in fearmongering. Inconvenient truths are sometimes difficult, but our purpose is never to condemn anyone who has had an abortion. Our purpose is to clarify the confusion so that people can make better decisions in the future, both individually and collectively. If you need healing from an abortion in your past, visit AbortionHealing info and search there for a pregnancy help center near you. If you need help with an unplanned pregnancy, go to OptionLine org.

    Bradley Martel
    Project Manager, Genocide Awareness Project
    Center for Bio-Ethical Reform
    AbortionNo org