Tags Posts tagged with "abortion"

abortion

Where there are stricter abortion laws, the rate of illegal “back-alley” abortions increases considerably.ian mckenna/the observer Where there are stricter abortion laws, the rate of illegal “back-alley” abortions increases considerably. (Ian McKenna/The Observer)
Where there are stricter abortion laws, the rate of illegal “back-alley” abortions increases considerably.ian mckenna/the observerWhere there are stricter abortion laws, the rate of illegal “back-alley” abortions increases considerably. (Ian McKenna/The Observer)
Where there are stricter abortion laws, the rate of illegal “back-alley” abortions increases considerably.ian mckenna/the observer
Where there are stricter abortion laws, the rate of illegal “back-alley” abortions increases considerably. (Ian McKenna/The Observer)

By FREDERIC ADOR
Contributing Writer
Published: March 27, 2013

Nowhere has the word “life” been used with more passion than in the United States. Ever since Roe v. Wade, U.S. states have been enacting laws both for and against women’s right to abortion, and now the trend seems to be heading toward more restriction. According to The New York Times, 19 states have adopted 43 new provisions restricting abortion rights in the last year, and the start of this year has shown no promise of change.

On March 22, North Dakota put forth a ballot to end abortions by asking the public to decide whether or not life begins at conception. That resolution that was preceded by a law their officials made deeming abortions after six weeks of pregnancy illegal—the most restrictive abortion law in the country. This development came only days after Arkansas representatives voted in favor of a law banning abortion after 12 weeks.

Representatives may be creating more restrictive abortion laws with the intention of preserving lives, but they are not the answer because they back women into using illegal and dangerous abortion techniques that can seriously endanger their health—if not kill them. If those opposing abortion really want to fight unwanted pregnancies at the root of the problem, broadening people’s access to contraceptives and other resources for family planning as well as properly educating the youth about sex would be a far better solution.

Unfortunately, current New York state law on abortion is relatively restrictive as well, permitting abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy only if the mother’s life is in danger. Technically, federal law overrules that law but in any case, the in-state restrictions have influenced the way some doctors have presented family planning options to their patients, even pushing women to have the procedure carried out in another state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken a progressive stance on abortion, now pushing to make New York state’s abortion laws less restrictive. But with a Republican majority in the State Senate and with the rise of stricter abortion laws in other states, there are doubts that this legislation will be passed.

Criminalizing abortion with the restrictive policies popping up across the country will not help women and families across the U.S. save lives—in fact, it will do the opposite. As a collaborative study between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Guttmacher Institute showed in 2007, abortion rates are similar in countries banning abortion and countries where abortion is legal alike. What tends to change are the risks to women’s lives associated with having an abortion. As abortion is criminalized, women tend to undergo “back-alley abortions,” which are often provided under unsafe conditions by poorly trained providers. According to the Guttmacher Institute, these “back-alley abortions” carry higher risks of complication, hemorrhaging and infection when compared to safely-provided abortion. In developed countries such as the U.S., a WHO study also showed that the case–fatality rate for unsafe abortions is 40 times higher than that of legally induced abortion.

Anti-abortion activists have upheld abstinence-only education and natural family planning (relying on a meticulous tracking of a woman’s fertility cycle) to avoid unwanted pregnancies. But the Cochrane Collaboration, a medical research non-profit organization, hasn’t found an abstinence-only program that has had an enduring effect on teen’s sexual behavior. In addition, studies have proven that this method is not as effective as contraceptives because it is more stringent for woman with a less regular cycle.

The most effective way to lower abortion rates is to allow contraceptives to be more widely available and to educate the youth about not only contraceptives, but the risks, realities and consequences of sex in general. This is not a romantic idea of how to address the issue but a fact, as it has been proven by studies conducted by the WHO-Guttmacher Institute and a Washington University School of Medicine study from 2012.

Restrictive abortion laws allow a piece of legislature to forbid women to decide what to do with their bodies. Other than safety and health problems, this decision affects social and economical issues as well; raising a child comes at a cost. There have been too many families that could not survive emotionally and financially with the burden of an unplanned child. I believe that it is only when people will be able to choose what is best for them that the United States of America will truly be the land of the free.

Faculty members call for “clear statement of the basis for these funding and censorship decisions” from McShane and Fordham administration.

By IAN MCKENNA
Managing Editor
Published: November 15, 2012
Updated: 8:20pm

Tracy Higgins, professor of law at Fordham Law, and Bridgette Dunlap, Human Rights Fellow at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, with support and input from other Fordham Law faculty members, have written an open letter to Fordham President Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J. in response to the funding of Ann Coulter’s Fordham visit, originally scheduled for Nov. 29 but since has been cancelled. The letter, circulated to Fordham Law faculty by professor of law Steve Thel, asks for a clear stance from the administration on its previously inconsistent support, both in promotion and funding policies, of student groups and events. The letter also asks for support from the student body through a petition form at the bottom of their address to McShane.

The group calls for “a clear statement of the basis for these funding and censorship decisions in light of their manifest inconsistency.”

(Kyle Cassidy/Wikimedia Commons)

“Though the College Republicans withdrew the invitation to Ms. Coulter in light of the outcry from their peers, the problem remains that the University was willing to allocate over $10,000 to this event even while denying funding to other student and departmental initiatives featuring speakers or topics with which it disagrees,” the letter reads.

While the writer celebrates McShane’s decision to distance the university from Coulter’s message it continues to say that “we remain deeply troubled, however, by the University’s inconsistency regarding which events it denies funding or otherwise censors on campus,” specifically bringing the examples of the Vagina Monologues, a controversial event by Fordham undergraduates each year to raise awareness of violence against women.

“[I]t was a wonderful statement that Father McShane made and a very robust defense of academic freedom, discourse, and dialogue, and we want to be sure that we are living up to that and it doesn’t seem that we are,” Dunlap said.

The group also mentions administration’s opposition to Fordham’s pro-choice advocacy while anti-abortion clubs recieve school funding and the red tape faced by Prescribe Fordham 2 events, an off-campus birth control clinic night, in attempting to post flyers in Fordham.

“I think that’s pretty problematic and not reflective of the kind of place Fordham is,” Dunlap said of Fordham’s discrimination between forms of student involvement.”Fordham is a place where we have scholarship and debate and respectful discussion of different ideas. So, we shouldn’t be silencing the legitimate conversations that we ought to be having.”

“Why are these forms of student expression and association denied support while the Coulter event was not? Is pro-choice advocacy or the Vagina Monologues more inconsistent with the University’s mission than Coulter’s hate speech you rightly decry? Are they less entitled to respect in the free exchange of ideas in the Academy?”

While they may be disappointed in the administration for its lack of consistent action, Dunlap said it was “fortunate” how the Coulter disagreement was handled by students.

“I have been very impressed by the poise and constructiveness and thoughtfulness of the undergraduate groups that I have seen working on some of these issues. T]he undergraduates worked it out amongst themselves and I think that is a situation where the solution to what was likely to be pretty problematic speech was more speech and that the undergraduates appealed to each other. I think that is wonderful.”

To read the open letter to McShane in its entirety or to voice your support of the response, click here.

Women’s issues like abortion and birth control are key issues during this election, but women’s voices are missing from the discussion. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/MCT)

Coverage of Women’s Issues has been Unfairly Dominated by Male Journalists 

Women’s issues like abortion and birth control are key issues during this election, but women’s voices are missing from the discussion. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/MCT)

By ALISSA FAJEK
Asst. Opinions Editor
Published: September 19, 2012

It is no secret that the hot topics of the 2012 election have had a lot to do with women. From abortion to birth control, women’s reproductive rights have gained a significant role in candidate’s stump speeches. But with women’s rights in the spotlight, it doesn’t make sense that women themselves would be put on the back burner as men, yet again, take the stage. There’s something wrong with this picture.

Survey data released by The Women’s Media Center showed three-quarters of newspapers’ presidential coverage being written by men. In a study, horrifically named “SILENCED: Gender Gap in the 2012 Election” presented by 4thEstate.net, we see that the content is significantly biased as well.

When it came to the conversation about abortion, 81 percent of persons quoted in print media were men, seven percent were organizations and a wimpy 12 percent were women quoted. When conversations started about Planned Parenthood, women’s rights and birth control, the number of women quoted was slightly higher, but still tragically low, having percentages of 26 percent, 31 percent and 19 percent respectively. Furthermore, in front page articles covering the 2012 election that concerned topics concerning abortion or birth control, men were up to seven times more likely to be quoted than women were. This was true across the board for all major media outlets and publications. So what does this mean?

Women are significantly under-represented in the 2012 election coverage and in turn, are being repressed. 4thEstate.net suggests that “This gender gap undermines the media’s credibility,” because men are not a primary source for this information, and without a woman’s voice to act as a counterpoint, an effective argument cannot be had.

Now, I’m not saying that the coverage of women’s issues in the 2012 election should be all women, because that would be biased as well. If that were so, we would be getting all first-hand accounts, and arguments that ran the risk of being too personal or too emotion-driven rather than fact-driven. But regardless, the coverage should be equal or favoring women. It is 2012. As women, we can vote, earn the same pay as any man and hold the same positions in the workforce. We are equals, and we are more than ready to fight this “War on Women” ourselves, without a man taking the driver’s seat for us.

Because topics such as abortion and birth control are up for debate, the coverage in the media is generally made up of “subjective insight,” which really means that these men are sitting back and just voicing their opinions on women’s issues without actually doing research to back up their assertions. Abortion and birth control are something they don’t, and never can, fully understand. Unless they’ve experienced first-hand an unwanted pregnancy, the inability to afford birth control, or felt that their sexual health was being repressed, then they simply cannot have a strong, reliable voice on the topic.

As a woman today, I am offended by this media coverage, for more reasons than one. Growing up, I wasn’t too aware of the gender gaps around me. Most of my coherent life took place in the new millennium, and I never thought I would have to worry about inequalities because I am a girl. But as I get older, I realize that this is a war that is, sadly and tragically, still un-won. It may not be as big as voting rights, or the right to venture out into the workplace, or to live a life that doesn’t revolve around a husband and children, but it exists. It’s the little things, like not being heard in the media… on issues that primarily concern us.

Yes, there are men out there that sympathize with women in this debate, and think that we should have every right to do whatever we see fit regarding our bodies and our reproductive health. But there are also plenty of women who are pro-life, and don’t see it as a right being taken from us. These are women who see it as simply “right” and “wrong” in a very black and white sense of the world, when these issues are every shade of gray. Reproductive health and abortion are loaded issues, and we need to make space for all women’s voices, whichever their part of the spectrum, to be heard.

If I were a man, I would feel way out of my comfort zone writing about women’s issues, because it is not something I have lived and experienced. We, the women, are the primary sources for this information, and we should be used for that. Men do not tell our story the way it is actually happening, and that is no fault of their own. It is time for us to take the stage, and correctly present the information to the public for a well-informed debate. To put it simply, I quote the infamous Rachel Green: “No uterus, no opinion.”

 

Heavy-Handed Abortion Guidelines Violate a Woman on All Levels

By NINA GUIDICE
Staff Writer
Published: March 28, 2012

Usually, it is considered highly immoral to implement laws that impede a person’s path to exercise their rights. Somehow, though, the rights for a woman to decide what happens to her own body have been seriously put into question. The most recent legislative amendment to a woman’s right to choose has been the required ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion.

In many states, women who seek an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy are required to have an ultrasound via vaginal probe. Virginia’s new law requires the ultrasound, but they backed off the vaginal probe after public outcry. The Texas Sonogram Law, however, continues to require the probe, as do others, perhaps because the Texas law hasn’t gotten as much press coverage as the Virginia debate did.

Is this, as some claim, a form of “state-sanctioned rape?” I would say, yes—the laws force women to have a foreign object inserted into their bodies, unwanted. For this reason, I believe the connotations of the law are akin to molestation.

It would be one thing if the ultrasound was medically necessary, or if not necessary, then beneficial to the woman’s health. However, it’s not. These ultrasounds are medically worthless, with no effect on the woman’s body or her health. The act makes women feel guilty about seeking an abortion and has the potential to turn away women who are fearful of the unnecessary procedures.

State Senator Dan Patrick, who authored the Texas bill, estimates that the new legislation will stop one in five abortions, or 15,000 out of 80,000 per year. I will concede that some of those women will make the right choice, for them, to keep their child. However, it’s likely that a number of women will be deterred from seeking help in the first place, and that is something I find reprehensible.

Think about rape victims. A victim of rape who finds herself pregnant will find herself subjected to an unnecessary procedure that will most assuredly force her to relive the horrific experience of being raped. This is not a universal provision, as some states make exceptions for rape victims, but the intent remains. It’s an act that has the possibility of discouraging victims from aborting a fetus they didn’t want.

The intent of this law is the problem, though the particulars of the legislation vary between the states in which it is implemented. In some states, the woman listens to the heartbeat and sees the image of the fetus. In some, the woman does not have to see the image, but she does have to have the ultrasound stored in her medical records. This does two things, both of which I don’t agree with.

First, it tries to guilt a woman out of doing something she has a legal right to do. Second, it’s not necessary, with the (high) possibility to be emotionally damaging—women likely to need abortions are the same women likely to be scarred by the ultrasound experience. The effects of the law, emotional and physical upheaval, are enough to make the law horrific and in violation of the right to privacy and the right to choose. But the act of the law, a woman being forced to undergo a vaginal probe, is enough to qualify it as rape. Perhaps not in the tight legal definitions of the word, but rape nonetheless.

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An Unwanted Ultrasound Offers a Second Chance and Should Not be Equated with Rape

By MICHELLE PRADO
Contributing Writer
Published: March 28, 2012

Texas’s new law toward abortion has created quite the scandal. Strongly supported by Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Sonogram Law requires women to have a sonogram before they can have an abortion. According Nicolas Cristof’s article in The New York Times “When States Abuse Women,” this required sonogram should be considered rape because of the way it is conducted. It’s not the traditional gel-on-belly sonograms.

For this type of sonogram, an ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina and the patient must listen to the fetus’s heartbeat. Then, the doctor must explain every single part of the baby’s body. Finally, the woman is sent home to reflect and must wait 24 hours before she comes back to have the abortion. To support his view, Cristof quoted Texas doctor Curtis Boyd, who suggests this type of procedure to be rape because the patient is being forced by law to have an ultrasound that requires insertion into the female. Although other females might agree with Boyd, I disagree.

Actually it’s a great idea because it gives the woman time to think, and decide if she really wants to end her pregnancy; it also gives life more value. Many times fetuses are undermined because they do not have two legs and a head, but they are still life. The fact that this law has been passed is a way of giving much more weight to life regardless of the stage it is in. Even in the womb the fetus already has a heartbeat. It is alive and ending the pregnancy would be destroying a life.

It also promotes rational thinking. There are many reasons why a woman might want an abortion and one of them might be because she feels her only option is aborting the child. She goes to the doctor for an abortion rather than weighing her options. Now, with this law, women have the possibility of rethinking their decision and making sure that an abortion is the way to go.

This procedure is not rape. The object of the law is not to make women undergo a grueling process; the government is simply making women realize the significance of their decisions. Although I understand an ultrasound is a very difficult procedure, with the law it has become part of the abortion formula, and more women should not criticize this new law but rather see it as an addition to the procedure, a good addition.

Maybe after listening to the heartbeat of her fetus, the mother could have a change of heart and decide not go through with the abortion. I’ve heard plenty of women say that after they hear or see their child for the first time through a sonogram a bond is formed. That’s the objective of this new law. It gives the fetus a chance to live and it gives the parents a chance to determine if terminating the pregnancy is what they want.

 

Why We Need To Worry About His Nonchalant Approach To Abortion

Abortion has been a controversial issue in America for decades. Is the tide of debate about to shift? (MCT)

Helen Lee
Staff Writer
Published: February 12, 2009

Over half of American Catholics voted for Barack Obama. This is not surprising in and of itself: the Catholic vote usually mirrors the overall results. But in the weeks preceding the election, Catholics were busy trying to justify their choice for Obama due to his stance on abortion.

Obama is a pro-choice extremist. Well, not really. He’s actually something much worse. For him, abortion isn’t really an issue. He seems to be confused that there is even any debate over the subject. His position should not be news to anybody; it certainly is not news to me. He dismisses the arguments of pro-lifers who seek what he calls “divisive ground” and offers them no shred of compromise.

During his campaign, Obama was given a 100 percent approval rating by Planned Parenthood. He also promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate practically any restrictions on abortions nation-wide. Before being elected, he was a supporter of legalizing partial birth abortion and voted against the Babies Born Alive Act. Within the first few days in office, Obama reversed the ban on funding to international organizations that perform or promote abortions. As someone who cares about the protection of innocent life, I had hoped that Obama would not disappoint as president. He already has.

Even the liberal rhetoric of “safe, legal and rare” abortion is too conservative for Obama. When asked when human life begins, he responded that the question was “above [his] pay grade.” He thinks that young women should not be “punished with a baby.” His attitude is frighteningly blasé. His agenda is decidedly pro-death.

In justifying their decisions to vote for Obama, some Catholics claimed that it is actually acceptable to be Catholic and pro-choice. This is false. If your common sense doesn’t tell you that abortion is intrinsically evil, please check the Catechism of the Catholic Church. To be pro-choice—that is, to advocate for the right of women to have abortions—is scandalous. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, scandal is “a word or action, that is either an external act… or the omission of an external act that occasions another person’s sin or spiritual ruin.” To be pro-choice, even if you are not planning on having an abortion yourself, is to advocate grave sin in other people, and that is sinful. To remain silent while people around you have abortions is sinful.

Some Catholics who described themselves as pro-life insisted that Obama was the actual Christian candidate, in spite of his pro-choice position, because of his liberal stances on social justice issues like immigration and civil rights and his call for universal health care. Catholics are kidding themselves if they think that immigration and poverty issues have the same moral weight as abortion. They are correct to say that social justice issues are Christian concerns: Jesus was a big advocate of accepting foreign neighbors, as illustrated in the “Good Samaritan” parable, and helping the poor and sick. However, his concerns came from a broader concern for the care of the most innocent and vulnerable members of society. While immigrants, the economically disadvantaged and the sick are indeed vulnerable, there is no one more vulnerable and innocent than an unborn baby.

Even if you are pro-choice, you should realize just how unsettling Obama’s attitude is. Even though he says he wants to find common ground with pro-life advocates, he has yet to take any steps in this direction. The implications of this attitude are alarming. Every person has the right to life. When we take it upon ourselves to decide who is a person and who is not—and therefore who has that right to life—we create the occasion to commit crimes against humanity.

By taking away the rights of these unborn children who cannot speak for themselves, we also provide the opportunity to take away the rights of the sick, elderly, homeless and all others who cannot speak for themselves. This is an extreme scenario, but one that has proven to be possible in the past and is definitely foreseeable in the future. It’s called the Culture of Death, and the Catholic Church warns against it often. We already witnessed a glimpse of it in the murder of Terry Schiavo in 2005.

Obama has already started denying rights to the unborn. If he had it his way, abortions would be legal at any stage of pregnancy with no restrictions. If you are Catholic and you voted for Obama, I’m not going to judge you or condemn you; that’s really not my place. If I had voted for Obama, however, I would be sick with guilt right now. I’m already sick at the prospect of these upcoming years in the
Culture of Death.

 

Posters reading "Choose Life" drew criticism from some students, who responded by ripping them down. (Photo Illustration Craig Calefate/The Observer)

By Ashley Tedesc0
Asst. News Editor
Published: February 12, 2009

Signs reading “Choose Life” were posted around Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) by Campus Ministry and, on a number of separate occasions, torn down by students in an apparent expression of disagreement. Other faculty and students have pointed out the fact that the signs are consistent with the Jesuit foundation of the university and that, even if students disagree with the message of the signs, they should voice their concerns in a more productive way.

In the time since the signs were posted, some students are still wondering why they went up in the first place. Francis Pastorelle, FCLC ’10, who says he has no qualms with the signs, was one of those students.

“I know October is Respect Life month—if there’s [something else] in February, I’m unaware of it,” Pastorelle said.

Rev. Damian O’Connell, S.J., assistant director of campus ministry at FCLC, explained that the signs were posted to coincide with the Respect for Life march in Washington, D.C. and went on to explain his rationale for posting them, which was to promote the Catholic Church’s idea of the “consistent ethic of life,” the notion that all life is sacred.

“The consistent ethic of life should be seamless. That is certainly part of the Catholic tradition, and the university identifies itself as a [Jesuit] university… ” McShane said.

The movement is not one of reproductive rights alone, but also condemns unjust war, economic injustice and poverty, capital punishment and euthanasia. Some, according to O’Connell, even use the argument to support an end to animal cruelty and the cause for vegetarianism.

“You can’t isolate out one of these things,” O’Connell said. “You can’t pick and choose among them because then you’re introducing into your argument an ethical inconsistency…”

Although the signs were created to promote all aspects of the pro-life movement, Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC, said, “I suspect the issue [students have with the signs] is abortion.”

Jenica Asadorian, a graduate student in the School of Social Work, was one student who was irked by the posters. “I understand that the Jesuit beliefs fall in line with the Catholic beliefs of pro-life, but for someone who does not subscribe to that mentality, I find it kind of offensive because it doesn’t give both sides of the perspective,” she said. “It doesn’t really give you the opportunity to have a discussion about it; it just kind of puts it out there for you that [these are] the thoughts and the beliefs that the school endorses.”

Though the university does not advertise a specific pro-life position, Grimes said, “It permeates the regulations of the university,” noting policies like Health Services’ refusal to provide information regarding abortion clinics.

“It’s something that is lived out in day-to-day life,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that there can’t be discussion about abortion, euthanasia or war and peace issues.And obviously faculty can teach on these issues, can discuss these issues and are free to take whatever position they want to take on these issues. But yes… I think [the notion of pro-life] is something that we find that the university mission is very much behind.”

Keith Eldredge, dean of students at FCLC, offering a similar feeling, said, “Although there might be policies and procedures [at Fordham] that might be in line with the Catholic Church teaching, certainly there’s an element of academic freedom in the classroom, and so topics and ideas and issues can be raised and discussed and argued from any perspective.”

Grimes explained that the idea of the consistent ethic of life came from Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, who presented the concept at Fordham at the 1983 Gannon lecture, a reason why Grimes said he feels the topic is especially pertinent now.

“What Bernardin was trying to do was to say, ‘Look, the arguments that are going on here aren’t going to get us anywhere. We need to think of [pro-life] in more holistic terms. If abortion is a violation of the sanctity of life, what about war? What about euthanasia? What about the death penalty?’ [Bernardin aimed] to expand the debate beyond this one issue [of abortion] and rather to look at the bigger question of the dignity of human life,” Grimes said.

“One of the things that disturbs me is that people consistently take down the signs,” O’Connell said. “Why, certain voices should not be heard? Then what does that mean in terms of the life of the university? [Do they take down the signs] because they feel personally offended? Why would it offend them?”

Asadorian said, “I understand that ‘Choose Life’ applies to all of [those issues], but I think when you add abortion into it, you’re kind of negating everything else because [abortion] becomes the bigger issue. That’s the one that people are so willing to discuss and is so popular.” She also noted the personal nature of this attack for many students. “It could make students feel badly, especially if they know someone or they themselves have been put in that position where they had to make that decision [to have an abortion]. The posters are not very sympathetic to the possibility that students have had that experience. It makes you not want to talk about it more, especially given that this is the philosophy [our school] subscribes to.  It doesn’t really make it an environment that we want to discuss it.”

O’Connell, however, encourages students to turn to campus ministry with their feelings of frustration over the signs. “They don’t come and talk about it. They just decide to [tear the signs down]. There are a lot of things that are publicized around the university that I would not agree with, but I don’t take the signs down… If [students] are challenged by this, they ought to come and speak the challenge. Campus ministry is not an unfriendly place. You’re not going to be attacked,” he said. “The thing is, if people take the signs down and don’t engage in dialogue, then there’s no opportunity for us to hear what are the [painful] issues for them. Maybe they feel that this is a personal attack. But there’s no opportunity to dialogue about that.”

Asadorian said, “I think it would be good for [Campus Ministry] to advertise more that they’re willing to have those discussions, because the way that the posters present themselves, it doesn’t really appear that they’re really open to discussion about it. It’s not something that would cross my mind after seeing that poster. I just say ‘I don’t agree with that,’ and I move on.”

Pastorelle, who described himself as “definitely pro-life,” said, “Obviously if the flyers had a hateful message… like, ‘Voting pro-choice is murder,’ I’d be all for taking them down. But as it is, these flyers simply state a belief that the university holds, has held and has never hidden that they hold… If people are complaining about it, they’re wasting their breath. This is a Jesuit school and when you apply you’re applying for all that that entails. No one tricked you into enrolling at a Catholic university.”

“Are there different ways that it could have been done? Probably,” Eldredge said, “But I was struck by the fact that [the signs represented] all-encompassing concern for the human being. I would have been more concerned if it was just focused on one of those issues.”

“Maybe it would have been more direct to say, ‘If you have questions or concerns about this, contact Campus Ministry,’ but my sense was that if somebody did want to pursue a conversation, they at least knew where to go, by having Campus Ministry [printed on the flyer]. That’s part of the policy, so that if anybody has a reaction to any kind of flyer or just want more information, they know [whom to contact],” Eldredge said.

Eldredge said, “It’s disappointing that folks’ reaction would be, ‘Well, let me just take this down,’ just like I would be upset if they took down any flyer for anything [else] on campus if they didn’t agree with it.”

“In the university where Cardinal Bernardin first raised the idea of a consistent ethic of life, to raise the level of discussion on these issues, it would be sad if the level of discussion had fallen to just ripping down posters,” Grimes said.

However, he concluded, “If it brings forward Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life and Fordham’s place in it, then at least some good has
come of it.