Disturbing images lack substance

Chris Kok

Last Tuesday, the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform showed their opposition to abortion by driving and flying around campus with large images of aborted fetuses. So, I think that we should take a lesson from this group.

I am against pancreatic cancer. Each year 32,000 people get this cancer, and treatment for it has a very low success rate. Perhaps if we flew pictures of surgically removed pancreases, people would be disgusted by the sight and decide not to get pancreatic cancer.

OK, the comparison doesn’t exactly work. People do not choose to get pancreatic cancer, whereas women have the choice to get an abortion. The fact is that pictures of either are going to be messy. While the pictures that the center uses are shocking, they are a distraction to the real issues of abortion.

First of all, what is an abortion? It is a medical operation that removes an unwanted growth before it becomes an individual life. According to an article in the British Medical Journal, fetuses’ reaction to stimuli is a reflex up to 26 weeks into a pregnancy. This implies that the fetus does not have consciousness until sometime in the third trimester. Without consciousness, the fetus is not a life; it is a cluster of cells.

Second of all, who should have the right to choose to have an abortion? It is the woman’s body, and it should be her choice. The government should have no say in that issue. How can someone be free if they cannot control their own body?

Certainly the people from the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform shouldn’t have the right to make the decision. If they don’t want to have an abortion, then they shouldn’t have one. It is that simple.

What is interesting about the center is that members claim to be horrified at the loss of life through abortion, but yet they seem relaxed to see the loss of life throughout the world.

They are so concerned about abortion that they will rent buses and planes; spend money on gas just to get this message of “life” out to people in Ohio. In the meantime, Niger and Kenya are suffering from major food crises. Postnatal people living there are facing starvation and hunger. These postnatals have fully developed nervous systems. Unfortunately their nervous systems are too developed for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform to take notice. The center only cares about the prenatal stages of human development.

These people do not care about what would happen to desperate women if abortion were illegal. Coat hanger abortions and other potentially lethal forms of illegal abortions do not concern this group.

Nor does it care about preventing unwanted pregnancies through supplying birth control. Many “pro-life” people are the same people who are promoting abstinence-only sex education.

The reality of the “pro-life” movement is that it is largely based on Christian beliefs. It is all right if someone is a Christian, just don’t force those values and beliefs on other people.

If people are against abortion, let them work to increase access to contraceptives, social services and adoptions. But they should let pregnant women make the ultimate choice.

Chris Kok is a senior political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].