Sitting in on SSMU Council the night Choose Life’s club status got revoked made me think about how campus debates often boil down to two sides talking past each other, repeating the same things without much give-and-take.
Here’s what I imagine give-and-take could look like, in the University I want.
Choose Life: you want fewer abortions to be practiced. Speakers from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign said that if they could stop even a few girls from having abortions, that would make their efforts worthwhile.
Why don’t you do this in a way that empowers women, instead of degrading them with signs designed to fill them with guilt?
Specifically, by addressing the material conditions that make it difficult for women to keep their babies, by advocating for a publicly-funded national childcare program.
Your signs don’t help pregnant women keep their babies. Your pamphlets decrying abortion as racist don’t do anything to alleviate the deeply entrenched sources of economic inequality that contribute to higher rates of unwanted pregnancy or teen pregnancy among women of colour.
Helping create the political will to form a national childcare program would benefit women from all backgrounds – would enable them to support their families and advance in the workplace – and would be a pro-woman way of helping individuals choose life.