“Because that’s not what we’re passionate about”

That refers to dead women. 

The quote is the response I received from a member of Fordham’s “Respect for Life” club today after I asked, for the third time, why the club didn’t set up a cross to honor the women who die of illegal abortions.  Or all abortions, if they’d prefer. But they would NOT prefer thankyouverymuch because that’s not what they’re passionate about!! 

In case you missed it, Respect for Life boldly displayed their passion today all over Alpha House lawn. They staked some 4,000 white flags in the ground in the shape of a cross, bringing to our attention the number of cell clusters that are ruthlessly killed every day.  These and other statistics were displayed on the surrounding fence, and guarding the whole thing was a handful of Respect for Life members. They stood proudly, inviting questions and comments from both sinners and the saved.

 I decided to strike up a conversation, inquiring as to whether they were the Respect for Unborn Life club or the Respect for—

“No— all life,” came the reply.

So I asked my question about their lack of respect for dead women.  They dodged my question, twice, by saying some really educated things about how women are forced into abortions and not given a choice (HA!…ha…uhhhwhaaa?).  They cited four women who had come to speak about how much they regretted their abortions.

“They represent all women who have had abortions?” I pointedly asked.  

“No, but, a lot of women feel they don’t have a choice.  They don’t know that—”

“Really?  Women don’t know they don’t have to have abortions? Don’t you think that’s a little condescending towards women?” I asked the strapping young gentleman I was conversing with. The rest of our discussion can be roughly summed-up as, “go fuck yourself.”  I was bitter and unyielding, and they were sighing and snickering and bullshitting about how so many women die from legal abortions.  

So I rephrased my question: “OK, why don’t you guys honor the women who die of abortions?”

And the answer, we now know, is because they just don’t care about that.

In sum: Fordham Respect for Life respects all life, but isn’t ‘passionate’ about dead women.  There are two possible conclusions to be drawn from these seemingly contradictory facts: Fordham Respect for Life is a bunch of liars and hypocrites, and/or (but probably and) Fordham Respect for Life doesn’t consider women ‘life.’

And THAT is why you should talk to people you disagree with; it can be so enlightening!

To enlighten yourself, for real, keep reading, but be warned that the following contains graphic images:


*In the United States, where abortion is legal, 89% of all abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and  61% of all abortions are performed before 9 weeks of pregnancy.

*Worldwide, the average number of abortions is 29 per 1000 women. This is the approximate average for individual countries’ populations as well, which means that the rate of abortion is not affected by its legality.  In fact, abortions rates are slightly lower in Europe, where abortion is legalized, than in Africa, where it is mostly illegal.

*Worldwide,  5,000,000 (5 million) women are hospitalized every year due to complications from unsafe (read: unprofessional, ‘back-alley’) abortions, and 67,000 women die.  Nearly all of these deaths occur in developing countries.

This is a picture of a fetus at nine weeks, which is after most abortions occur in our country.  The legality of abortion does not affect how many fetuses, like the one below, are not aborted.

For those of you who may be curious, here is a picture of an American woman who died of a botched abortion before Roe v. Wade passed. The legality of abortion DOES affect how many women die of abortion.


But Respect for Life does not care, because, well,  they are just so much more passionate about the fetus than the woman.

(Info is from the Guttmacher Institute, a non-partisan organization. Check out their abortion info at:  http://www.guttmacher.org/sections/abortion.php)


18 thoughts

  1. The thing is that, a real, educated “respect for life” individual would actually be quite sympathetic to the cause that you yourself presented. Just because a few confused individuals aren’t sure whether or not they should agree with you doesn’t mean that you can condemn an entire ideology. You are presenting your own individual opinion on a gross level.

  2. Um, it’s SUPPOSED to be offensive. Condemning women to death is offensive… or, in your words, ‘just stupid.’

    The pictures were put up to show what the average fetus actually looks like when it is aborted in comparison to what a woman looks like when she dies from an illegal abortion. It’s a response to those posters that anti-abortionists love to hold up, the ones that show a ridiculously mutilated fetus at a stage much farther along than when the vast majority of abortions occur. If those posters were honest, they would show what the actual cost of abortions look like: the pictures I posted.

    And no one made you scroll down or click on that link. There was a warning. Don’t act like I was holding these things outside the fucking caf like Respect for Life love to do.

    Also, I agree that they’re terrible excuses for anti-abortion activists. They dumb the conversation down to the point of absurdity. But, actually, the whole ideology IS absurd, and I can damn well condemn it. This is a blog– it is made for presenting your opinions on a ‘gross’ level. Get over it.

  3. I was referring to the link Seamus posted, which I felt was making an unreasonable statement in order to dance around a controversial topic. How would I answer that question? Well, I’d recommend a slap on the wrist and a hard lecture maybe. Abortion is not murder, it is an unfortunate occurrence that results from circumstance, and those involved should be given help and support if it is needed.
    And the blog post, my problem with that is that it is not a mockery of anti-abortion rhetoric, it is merely a mirror. It is the same sort of calloused argument, utilizing finger pointing and extremes to stun an opponent into a moment of intellectual blankness. Once a reasonable response is not given, he or she whom delivered the fiery sermon assumes victory.
    It is this type of immature indignation that makes issues like abortion fall by the wayside, it eliminates any chance for rationality or democracy. This is America, there will always be a disagreement over abortion. There are effective methods that can prevent pregnancies in the first place, but they will never be utilized if the issue is treated like child’s play. Because in the end, pro-choice and pro-lifers alike just sound like a bunch of bickering children.

  4. For me, at least, if abortion is murder, you should charge the doctor with felony murder and the mother and father with whatever the official equivalent for hiring an de facto contract killer. There’s no middle ground.

    Of course, since for all medical intents and purposes it’s the same as extracting eggs until the thalamocortical radiations are formed (outside of the first trimester), this really is essentially moot.

    Also, if they wanted that “47% of Bronx pregnancies end in abortions” quote to change, they REALLY should have spent the week on Fordham Road handing out 4000 condoms. It would have been infinitely more effective.

  5. AMEN, sister. keep on.

    “One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living.” – Ayn Rand

  6. I think it’s great that the main opposition to Respect for Life is concern for women. I think the debate has moved on, especially from this blog’s point of view, that abortion is something that has nothing to do with morality. The blog makes a distinction between early and later term abortions– why? because it knows that the later term ones are certainly wrong– I would just challenge you to think about what makes an earlier term abortion ok. There is a heartbeat after just 18 days and brainwaves after 6 weeks.

    Anyway… Respect for lifers certainly care about women. The reality is that there just aren’t that many women deaths from abortion, illegal or legal. Ever since penicillin was invented, infections due to abortions have not been killing nearly as many women. This is a debate that fits more in the 50’s and 60’s America.

    I just want to ask the opposition to redirect their anger towards something constructive– like helping out with pregnancy resources, instead of doing all they can to try to paint anti-aboritonists as evil. You say you want abortion more rare… why? Because women dont want to do it. No woman really wants to get an abortion, I’ll stand by that. And I know because I have stood outside an abortion clinic 3 days a week for the past couple years and help counsel women towards resources to keep their babies.

    Help give women hope, stop the angry dialogue, and try to keep the debate on what is at stake in an abortion, not on what pro-lifers do or do not do at Fordham University. Your words can have much more harmful effects on the dignity of women than you even know.

  7. Now, I don’t agree that Respect for Life doesn’t care about women in general. I’m sure you all have moms and/or sisters and you love them. And I wasn’t going to respond to this post…until the last comment.

    Standing outside of an abortion clinic to protest is shameful. Absolutely shameful. If you really wanted to change abortion policy, then do your protest where policy makers will see it. Instead you try to SHAME women for the decision they have made. A decision they are legally allowed to make.

    Also: “Your words can have much more harmful effects on the dignity of women than you even know.”
    Um, you are not a woman. You will never know what it feels like to be a woman. I don’t care how many women you know, how many people you have talked to who have had abortions. You don’t know. Your tendency to speak for women, frankly, makes me want to vomit.

  8. Kate-
    I don’t protest, I give women help so they don’t have to go through with an abortion, and to date I’ve helped 40 women to not do it. And how do you know any better than I do? If you’ve had an abortion yourself I’m sorry and I’ll pray for you, and I know places for help if you need it, but I can almost guarantee that you have not had more experience with pregnant women and abortion than I have. Just last week I took a 25-year-old woman and her friend home who could barely stand after her abortion. She vomited on the sidewalk before she got in my car. Don’t talk to me about vomiting. My tendency to speak for women comes from their suffering. Don’t brush their pain under the rug in order to keep this a woman dominated debate.

  9. Whaaaaa? Not that it is any of your business, but no, I have not had an abortion. But I am willing to bet I know a smidge more than you about the human experience of being a woman. I said what I said because it deeply saddens me to hear what you do. I’m done with posting on this subject.

  10. Here’s the deal on abortion, and why as an issue it doesn’t warrant all of us getting excited about it the way we do. As a “women’s issue,” and for the safety of women, all statistics seem to say that keeping it legal saves lives. As a moral issue, it’s always going to be a point of contention as to when life begins, because science doesn’t really seem to have a full answer and morally since the lives two human beings are kinda intertwined it’s hard to reckon what’s what until after the child is born, okay? So let the debate rage on… whatever.

    But, as a political issue abortion is no-man’s land, conservative and liberal politicians NEED this issue to divide voters and establish base voting blocks that they can preach to, since the line is pretty much 50-50 on who cares enough about the issue as to change their votes on account of the issue. Nationally speaking we have the most conservative Supreme Court perhaps of all time and for six of the past eight years America’s had a Republican congress and a conservative asshole holed up in the White House. In eight years all they had to show for it was a ban on partial birth abortion, a practice that was already illegal in many states. I wouldn’t look for much to change on the subject during Barry’s glorious tenure either.

    It’s simply absurd that these people who call themselves “pro-lifers” get so worked up for one week every year on the subject of abortion while keeping largely mum when it comes to taking care of this country’s unquestionably living children on issues like providing nationalized health-care and a quality education to try to get kids out of the vicious cycle of poverty that keeps so many in this country without food, shelter or opportunity. It is even more absurd that on the issue of abortion, “Pro-Lifers” continue to support and elect leaders who support unjust wars, the exploitation of people living in the 3rd world and massive corporate abuse of the lower classes of society based on their position on abortion. What a waste.

  11. “Abortion will always be a problem in my mind, I cope through breaking necks”
    -Jackie Chan

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