Hi all! It's been a while! Hope everyone had a good Thankgiving celebration if you celebrate it, or at least some days off. There have been lots of cool things happening at St. Olaf's campus, so read on!
Last week, our Students for Reproductive Health and Choice held an event where Reverend Kelli Clement from Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice talked about being religious and pro-choice. It was wonderful! She spoke eloquently about the importance of a woman's choice in when she begins parenting. So often we get stuck on the issue of when life begins, whether at conception or birth, etc., and Kelli made a good point that this just distracts us from the real issue. We can agree to disagree on when life begins, but we do need to agree that women should be agents of their own bodies and be able to decide when they will be a parent. Caring about the woman's health, both emotional and physical, is necessary in making this decision.
I really loved Kelli's description of their non-coercive counseling. This is a tool that Crisis Pregnancy Centers often lie about; they will say several false facts about what abortion can cause (healhwise) to make sure the woman births the child. Non-coercive counseling is vital to making the right decision for a woman, for she needs to feel comfortable and free to make her own choice based on what is best for her.
Kelli layed out the following 4 human rights of reproductive justice:
* the right to bear children,
* the right not to bear children,
* the right to raise our children in safe & healthy environments, &
* the right to celebrate sexuality in health & wholeness.
Love these! This was a great event (thanks to SRHC and MRCRC!) and good to learn about, since I had only heard about the opposite end of the spectrum: Feminists for Life (pro-lifers who also identify as feminists---which, if you read/believe in bell hooks, that actually is an oxymoron). This is a hard issue to discuss, but it is necessary, because parenting and pregnancy should not be forced upon anyone.
Also!!!! Something awesome and angering is happening in Northfield! If you didn't read Payne's (from SRHC) letter to the editor on CPC's, you should read it. Then check out the email he received from the Northfield CPC's director that appeared on the NARAL Pro-Choice America Facebook Page!!!!! I'm pasting it below as well because it is actually incredible that she would write such immature words. I've heard from several others that Liz, the author of the email, has said truly offensive remarks to people who do not practice her own choice of lifestyle. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want someone like that counseling me if I were in the tough decision of deciding to carry my pregnancy to term or not! These sources have verified that the CPC of Northfield uses false information and medical information that has been discredited to deter patients from having abortions. They claim they respect a woman's right to choice, but they do not refer out for abortions. Watch 12th and Delaware, and you'll see what I mean!