The Right to an Opinion

Though this course is mainly structured around the past and issues associated with the way in which tabooed topics were handled in older eras, there are many areas of discussion that remain to be controversial today. One of these topics is definitely abortion and the issues regarding birth control and reproduction. Some are “Pro-Life” and some are “Pro-Choice,” yet the fact of the matter is, society has not come to a consensus regarding abortion and I doubt we ever will.

When considering abortion and the basis on which many individuals form their opinions regarding the matter, it is safe to say that such discussions could get heated. Yelling at the person on the other side of the classroom, however, is not as extreme as murder. I was surprised to read that in the early 90s, there were deliberate murders of medical practitioners working at the Pensacola Abortion Clinic. Seventy year-old Dr. John Bayard Britton was murdered for working at the abortion clinic and turned out to actually be the best friend of a father of an Emory student. Dr. Britton was sadly the replacement for Dr. Dunn who was the first victim of these biased vigilante murders. So, “Pro-Life” advocates were killing in the name of living….confusing isn’t it? What doesn’t make sense is just how an individual can interpret these actions as anything other than completely unjust. First of all, killing one doctor likely would not stop other doctors from fulfilling their obligations. Second, how can you kill in order to support your platform of life? From any angle, its not a good look. Lastly, the way that these advocates were strongly force-feeding the public their personal views regarding abortion was hypocritical. Considering the fact that these advocates were in part fighting against the societal pressures urging women to consider the option of abortion, it would be interesting to see how these advocates would feel if “Pro-Choice” murderous vigilantes went around killing people that were anti-abortion. Not that I would suggest this, but I’m just saying.

Such occurrences make you think of just how women planning to get an abortion, or even just those open to the option, may feel. A “Voices of Emory” section from March of 1995 collected answers from students regarding this exact question. Most say that the violence at these health clinics will have an impact on women’s choices about abortion. Sadly, the decisions that a woman makes about her own health are influenced by the extremist actions of complete strangers. This seems to be the overlaying theme of the situation. This includes males too. In the article titled “Reproductive Rights Apply to Both Sexes,” from September of 1989, there was a situation in which a husband and wife divorced, and yet after the fact, the wife decided to carry to term embryos that were frozen before the divorce. The custody of these embryos was granted to the wife and the husband was forced to be a father.

Reproduction is not completely up to the individual anymore. These days, politics, religion, and culture influence the way in which humans feel about their right and/or ability to reproduce. Sadly, this is a situation that is too hot to handle. The perspectives on either side are far too stubborn to expect there to be any type of happy medium. In my opinion, peoples’ personal opinion should remain just that…personal. It is not fair to force how you may feel onto another person simply because you feel you can.

1 thought on “The Right to an Opinion

  1. Jsmit: Great job including images from your archival finds. Remember to import them through Notability so that you can include captions that let the reader know where they are from and when they are from with date and year if possible. Also, while you include the pictures and gesture toward them in your comments, work toward actually supporting your argument with evidence in the form of direct quotes. Also, what are your thoughts about the connections between what you are writing here and the reading by Wendy Simonds entitled “From Contraception to Abortion: A Moral Continuum” ?

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