Finding God: Students for Life address abortion issues

Students from the Students for Life organization discuss the impacts societal constructs and empowerment have on the topic of abortion and childbearing

Timothy Caulfield


Nine states in the past year, including Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio, have enacted laws severely restricting abortion.
Many of the laws seek to prohibit abortions after a heartbeat can be detected, usually around five or six weeks of pregnancy. At present, each of the laws has been stayed for violating previous decisions of the Supreme Court, which effectively permit abortion on demand everywhere in the country.
Nonetheless, these overt attempts to have the Supreme Court reconsider its position that abortion is a protected activity under the “right to privacy” has many supporters of legalized abortion concerned.
Liberal pundits have attempted to frame these laws as a direct attack on the freedom and empowerment of women. But does abortion really empower women? Does denying the personhood of preborn children advance or restrict civil rights?
People who are at a disadvantage ought to be empowered to succeed. This empowerment allows a previously disadvantaged group to be free, giving them a chance for fulfilling lives that were once hampered by prejudice and harassment.
This is an excellent concept and comes from our innate desire for community in a good and ordered society, where those who are advantaged assist those who are disadvantaged. Unfortunately, our pursuit of societal empowerment has taken a tragic turn, and in the case of abortion, it is precisely the most disadvantaged and vulnerable who bear the dreadful pain and the burden.
In Marvel’s epic sagas “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” the villain Thanos is on a mission to restore life in the universe. Everywhere he looked, he found pain, poverty and suffering. The cause for this, he believed, was a strain on the resources of the universe.
Therefore, he devised a simple solution – destroy half of all life in the universe. Through this bold effort at population control, life itself would be saved. For a seemingly heartless and vicious antagonist, this is a surprisingly altruistic motive.
His desire is to save life in the universe and give it a fresh start free from want and suffering. Despite these motives, we are horrified when watching his methods of achieving these ends.
Instead of healing and alleviating want, Thanos seems to leave destruction and deep pain in his wake. He cruelly and efficiently obliterates half of all life, culminating in a single moment of power when he kills half of all life in the universe with a snap of his fingers.
An initial glance would suggest that Thanos is indeed a heartless villain, but if his aim is to accomplish good, is he really the “bad guy”?
Many of the fans who watched the movies would say yes, he is the “bad guy.” The end goal, while altruistic, does not justify the methods that Thanos used. Thanos is using his power in pursuit of good ends. Yet he is not the “good guy,” because instead of providing for and protecting life with his power, he seeks to destroy.
Not only did Thanos destroy the lives of billions, but he himself was left crushed and broken by the death of his own daughter, brought about by his own hand.
Placing our right to exist above that of others is never freeing and always gravely immoral, no matter how honorable we believe our intentions. If we maintain this skewed view that some problems can be solved by eliminating the lives of others, we are embracing violence and injustice as a means for a better future.
Ultimately, it is how we choose to exercise our power that is truly important. Empowerment is not enough. We must be for the good of ourselves and others for it to be truly good and freeing.
A truly empowered act is not one made out of despair. Thanos was not empowered to save life from squalor and suffering; he instead despaired that anything could be done. He felt that the only option was to obliterate and start over. He did not have options; he felt trapped into only one choice.
Similarly, women are told “you can’t.” They are told that having a child means their life is over. They are told that pregnancy will mean being unable to finish their schooling or have a successful and fulfilling career.
The lie is that a woman’s only chance to succeed in life is to sacrifice their unique, awesome power of procreation. This is not empowerment. This is cornering women into thinking that taking away their innate power of procreation, by ripping their child away from them, is the only way forward.
This is an active attempt to devalue and undermine women by consistently telling them they are not good enough to succeed as they are. That they must be changed fundamentally in order to succeed.
According to an article found on, women who have had an abortion are three times more likely to commit suicide than women of childbearing age who have not had an abortion.
The British Journal of Psychiatry found an 81% increase in the risk of mental trauma after an abortion procedure. Additionally, two out of three women who have had an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy suffer from the clinical definition of post-traumatic stress disorder.
These sad statistics seem to not only show that women in general were not empowered by their abortions, but they were left depressed, haunted and in some cases suicidal. These are not the marks of a free and empowered person. They reflect the despair that women feel, despair that the lie instills in them.
These heartbreaking statistics show what happens to women when they despair and feel cornered into sacrificing their own offspring. Abortion is not empowering, nor is it freeing. This lie, perpetuated my many, claims to be a great benefit to women. However, this lie is the perpetuation of the mistreatment of women. True empowerment is not in subjugating and discarding life. It is in saving and nurturing life.
I am writing this to ask every single one of my fellow classmates, both male and female, to reject this lie. Your life will not be over if you have children, nor will you be unable to succeed and achieve your dreams. You can be the hero.



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