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Monday, April 22, 2024

The Pro-Life Alliance demonstrated Monday its belief that the "life" of the fetus matters more than the life of a woman.

This week, it will also hold a vigil outside of an abortion clinic and feature speeches from women who have had abortions.

Now, as feminists, we take the woman's side in everything. All women are different, and some may regret getting an abortion.

Maybe they really wanted a child but could not support it, and therefore they regret their decision to have an abortion because they felt they had no other options.

This is why feminist groups, such as UF Campus NOW, are fighting for the things that would make it easier to be a parent and lead a full life, such as paid parental leave, health care and access to reliable, affordable child care.

We should all be critical of groups that rally for so-called life, yet choose to invest no time or politics in programs to ensure the quality of life for the fetus (and the mother) once it is born.

However, feminists are also fighting for abortion rights. When a woman does not want a child, abortion must be an option.

The Pro-Life Alliance said 2 million couples in the United States are waiting for children. Although that must be very difficult, it doesn't make it another woman's responsibility to go through the dangers of childbirth and pregnancy, making it difficult or impossible for her to work or attend school.

The Pro-Life Alliance also claims abortion causes infertility, uterus deformation and depression.

While all medical procedures carry some level of risk, abortion is a quick and safe procedure when done legally by professionals. Also, there are many causes for depression - including childbirth.

Many women feel relieved - not traumatized - after an abortion. What's traumatizing is being forced to carry and give birth to an unwanted child.

Shame on the Pro-Life Alliance for spreading myths about abortion aimed at scaring women, making them feel guilty or preventing women from knowing the truth about abortion. We say women are the experts in our own lives, and we should be the only ones who make the decisions about whether we have a child.

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The Pro-Life Alliance claims we have lost a third of our generation already. No - we have gained women who were able to determine the direction of their lives.

For the 249 abortions a day in Florida, many women were able to finish college, get the job they wanted, get the promotion they were working toward or whatever they needed.

When the Pro-Life Alliance displays 249 pairs of baby shoes, what we see are 249 diplomas, careers and other products of a woman's self-determination.

Abortions must be available on-demand because being able to control what happens to our bodies and lives is a cornerstone of our freedom as women. All the Arbor Houses in the world couldn't give us that.

It's up to us to join feminist groups and keep up the fight.

This column was written by Claire Beach, a senior majoring in English, and members of UF Campus NOW.

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