Abortion: not a religious debate
This article is in response to "Abortion: the debate behind the debate," in which the author claims that the anti-abortion rights side of the abortion struggle is nothing more than a religious movement founded upon "Judeo-Christian ethics [which dictate that] it's wrong to have an abortion." This claim is simply false, and one which our society has deemed acceptable to throw around comfortably in dismissing the reality of abortion. While it is undeniable that many are religious who fight for the human rights of the unborn — at any stage of prenatal development — it is a grave mistake and a great insult to reduce the anti-abortion rights movement to nothing more than the "attempt to legally force a religious view on others." Many who fight for the rights of the unborn similarly fight for those voiceless whom our society finds it humane to assist — and without accusation of good works for solely religious motives: we work in soup kitchens, raise money for children with cancer, build homes for the homeless and teach in third-world countries. We are outraged by and speak out against human trafficking, poverty, political tyranny, torture and every other form of social injustice. And by this same token, we fight for another group of voiceless individuals: the unborn.
I encourage those who regard the anti-abortion rights movement as nothing but religion and conservatism to research Libertarians for Life, Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League and Democrats for Life. I also encourage you to read "Embryo: A Defense of Human Life," by Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor and bioethicist, who also serves on the President's Council on Bioethics. George's argument for the humanity intrinsic to every human being from the moment of conception is purely scientific, and cannot be dismissed or refuted with accusations that his position is based on religious principles.
The feminists who paved the way for the rights we women enjoy today were staunchly anti-abortion rights. Among these women were Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mattie Brinkerhoff, Victoria Woodhull and Mary Wollstonecraft. They did not take this anti-abortion rights position merely because the procedure was then extremely dangerous, but because they recognized — as they fought for women's suffrage, the right to run for president and integrated education with men and equality under the law — that women were being done an injustice in murdering their children.
In an 1869 essay in Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's newspaper, The Revolution, Mattie Brinkerhoff wrote, "When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society — so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged." My hope is that our world will begin to view abortion as such: the abominable act which destroys one life and which indicates the great injustice by which women continue to suffer.
Christina Amari is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in Spanish. She is also the founder and president of Rutgers for Life.