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Leave religion out of abortion

     On Monday, Feb. 26, a group of young boys, and yes I say boys because a majority of them are in high school, came to our campus and held a protest in front of the fountain by the quad. If anyone remembers, this is the same group who came last year to protest Trans rights. This year, they decided to focus on abortion. In my opinion, if there are extenuating circumstances, for example rape, incest, sickness of the pregnant mother, etc., then these women should have the option of abortion.

     The main problem I had with this group is that they constantly told me to my face that my body is not my body. Not a single woman was there in their group. The reason being is that they’re from an all boys school near Harrisburg. But when I decided to ask them why should I listen to them claiming they have an opinion on my body, I received the same answer every time: “It’s not your body.” I asked how it’s not my body, when I would be the one that this unborn child is growing in? They simply told me that it’s not a part of my body. Then why would it grow in a woman’s uterus? This unborn fetus takes nutrients from my body and is connected to me inside of my body. I was told that God owns my body, not me.

     Another Bloomsburg student, a male by the way, questioned their stance on that and proceeded to ask, “Well then, do you own your own body?” Their answer? “Of course.” How is that possible when they claimed God owns women’s bodies? God only owns one gender’s body? Doesn’t that seem a bit contradicting? In all honesty, the whole conversation was a bit contradicting.

     There were other boys handing out pamphlets to anyone who passed by. I opted to take one because I had to know if there was any hyperbolic claims in these pamphlets they were handing out to students. One of the biggest issues with this pamphlet was towards the end of it, they compared abortion to Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. You seriously cannot compare abortion to mass genocide. They are not anywhere near on the same spectrum.

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     I also believe that when it comes to religion, everyone is free to believe what they want, but I don’t think you should try and shove it down other people’s throats and make it seem like you are the only religion that is right. Claiming that abortion upsets God is technically an opinionated statement, because that is their belief. Passing it off as a fact does not count.

     Some of our students decided to respond back to these boys. Some of the theater students put on white angel robes from “The Laramie Project” play that they did a while ago, and held up a blank white sheet to cover the boys end abortion banner. They remained calm and stood in front of them, not provoking any issues. Some students like myself decided to talk to them because they do want to talk and debate and discuss. It was a fairly calm and civil debate.

     The other major problem that occurred was that this year, they all had cameras or go pros on their person. So if someone talked to them, they were on video, without consent. I had repeatedly asked them to not record me, yet they completely ignored my request, so I held up their pamphlet in front of my face. I didn’t know what would be done with the footage so I didn’t want to be a part of that unless I knew that.

     They also continued to try and argue on pure factual science when it comes to the development of a child. When a woman becomes pregnant, no life begins at conception. It’s a simple embryo. It will move to the zygote stage after that. And by the time the last trimester rolls around, it is then considered a fetus. They believed that life started at conception, which isn’t physically possible. A fetus does not take its first breath of life until it is out of the uterus. It takes a long period of time for the fetus to develop all of its organs. That’s why premature babies typically struggle once they are born because some vital parts of their system are not fully developed. And if they aren’t, they will have a hard time surviving on their own.

     These boys also claimed that “miscarriage is murder.” Again, this is false. A woman cannot control if she has a miscarriage. No woman ever plans that. That’s the human body and science. It is not physically possible for a woman to decide at some point in her pregnancy that she wants to miscarriage, and then makes it happen.

     I’m all about having your freedom of speech and being able to share your beliefs with people and discuss it. But when you try to play off a religion as facts, and try to tell college women they don’t have a right to their own bodies, when you’re all men, that’s where a line needs to be drawn. Unless those men want to be the ones to carry the fetus and give birth to it, I think they need to learn that they cannot tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

Sierra is a senior English major. She is an assistant editor for the Opinions page.

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