Tag Archives: abortion

Letter: Pro-Life Alumna asks Pro-Choice Student Columnist what She is “Trying to Protect”

I am writing in response to Amanda Rhoades’ article, “40 Years Since Roe v. Wade Some Still Determined to Halt Progress.”  I am grateful for my USF degree in Psychology, and graduate degree, which have enabled me to become the woman and mother I am today.

It is not my business to judge Amanda nor her uterus.  Each of us has a right to our own opinion.  I do, however, take issue with her “facts” regarding the Walk For Life and the reality of abortion.

I wish to express my compassion for Amanda, and my hope that she might come to understand that the word “compassion” contains the Hebrew root, “rechem,” meaning “womb.”  To have compassion means to “love from the womb.”  Amanda refers to her uterus quite often.  While catchy, this circumvents the heart of the matter.  Do unborn girls have uteri?  If they could speak, would they want them to be preserved for their future?

My uterus and I joyfully attended the Walk For Life with my husband and three sons.  We were overwhelmed by thousands of diverse and open-minded people passionate about the dignity of the human person.

Amanda asserts “… abortion does not have a negative impact on mental health…” Yikes!  I wish she could have stayed and heard the courageous speakers from “Silent No More,” an organization of women and men who suffer greatly from their abortion(s).  I suggest Amanda study www.silentnomoreawareness.org to be better informed.

I first studied post-abortion syndrome at USF, while writing a term paper in my Lifespan Psychology class.  My research was heart-wrenching.  I know that when speaking to someone who has experienced abortion, compassion and understanding are paramount.  Although some women and men are able to overcome their choice to end the life of their offspring, many suffer for deciding to flatline their baby’s heartbeat.  This is why WFL signs read: “Women Regret Abortion…I regret my abortion…I regret my lost fatherhood… etc.”

Amanda calls unborn human life “a microscopic group of cells.”  Amanda, please do your biology homework.  Our entire human DNA is present at conception, far from a random “group of cells.”  A unique, distinct, and unrepeatable human life trumps a uterus.  YouTube a 12 week, 4D ultrasound and if you have the stomach, learn how abortions are performed. I doubt you would consider penning “just a group of cells” in the future.

In all debates, one must discern what each side is trying to protect.  50,000 walked to protect a culture of life.  Amanda, what are you trying to protect?  The legal option to kill a preborn child is neither a humane nor progressive choice for a mother, a father, an innocent child, nor the cosmos in which the drama of life unfolds.  Empowering options exist for pregnant women, including adoption and numerous resource centers, whose raison d’etre is to truly love and support Mom and Baby.

Forty years of legal killing equals 55 million surgically aborted Americans.  Is that really progress for our country, or will it be our demise?

The human rights issue of abortion is far from a “squabble,” and I promise it will not go away.  If we do not protect and preserve the first right to life…liberty and happiness are moot.  Patriotic Americans are grateful that Abraham Lincoln persevered when slavery was legal.

Thank you for respecting my thoughts.  Please share them with Amanda, who will remain in mind, heart and prayer.  It is my hope that she will soon defer more to her heart and prefrontal cortex than to her uterus.

compassionate regards,

Colleen (McGuigan) France

USF Class of 1996

Staff Editorial: On Controversial Topics Like Abortion, the Foghorn Mediates Rather than Self-censors

Even the most ideological members on staff recognize the importance of the diversity of voices that appear here. 

The idea that, because the Foghorn is the undergraduate paper of a Jesuit college, we should only run student opinions aligning with Catholic teachings is an un-Catholic call for destroying a pattern of fruitful, compassionate, respectful, and enriching dialogue with doctrines of worldviews other than that of the Catholic faith. It also assumes wrongly that the students and its newspaper are, by simple virtue of our association with USF, the spokespeople of Catholic or Jesuit values, which, despite popular belief or desire, is not necessarily the case.

One year ago, the Foghorn was in a position almost congruent to where we are today.

Predictably, after publishing a column by a student writing on a religiously charged social issue (gay marriage), the newsroom was at the receiving end of a series of critical letters and comments.

The staff replied with an editorial explaining the responsibility of a student newspaper on a Jesuit Catholic campus to be “a trusted forum for the civil, free, equitable, and productive exchange of ideas.”

The difference between the controversy of a year ago and the present point of contention— last week’s piece by Amanda Rhoades praising the legal right to an abortion outlined in Roe v. Wade— is that today’s Foghorn is answering for a perceived abandonment of a Catholic identity. Last year, while defending  the choice to run a student’s opinion in support of the Catholic stance against same-sex marriage, we answered to accusations of having a traditionalist bent.

We explained then that, even when the author of that marriage piece, Dylan Hull-Nye, touched on a very electric topic; our decision to run his contribution was justified because his commentary on the official Catholic teaching on marriage “introduced a relevant, if controversial, element to the ongoing discussion of ‘What does it mean to be a Catholic college?’”

Then, as today, the how and why behind what this editorial page publishes comes down to our role to sustain a conversation for this paper’s primary audience: the USF undergraduate student body. The Foghorn, particularly on the opinion page, seeks to mediate constructively between parties, perspectives, or “sides” of relevant issues that might otherwise never come to understand each other, much less talk to each other.

The featured rebuttal on this page from a USF alum to Amanda Rhoades typifies the type of strong, yet compassionate and level-headed exchange the Foghorn exists for. Though we run under the wing of a Catholic institution, the Foghorn’s primary responsibility is not to gauge how Catholic or un-Catholic our content may appear to readers. Even the most ideological members on staff recognize the importance of the diversity of voices that appear here. As long as we have a say in it, the Foghorn will continue to focus on perfecting our role as a “trusted forum for the…productive exchange of ideas.”


Note: the attendance at the 2013 Walk for Life in San Francisco, mistakenly identified as “hundreds” in “40 Years since Roe v. Wade, Some Still Determined to Halt Progress” is estimated to have reached 50,000 at the end of the march. Additionally, in that piece, Amanda Rhoades’ claims on the effects on women turned away from an abortion they sought are drawn from the “Turnaway Study,” a longitudinal and continuing project conducted by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a research group from the University of California, San Francisco.

Republican’s “Rape” Violates All Women

Last month, the GOP house majority presented the “No Taxpayer for Abortion Act,” a bill that would ban government funding for abortions, even in situations of statutory rape, incest, and consent-less sex. Many critics, media outlets, and citizens refer to the bill as the “Redefining Rape Act,” among other things. Due to pervasive criticism, the GOP has decided to remove the section of the bill that requires “rape” to be defined by physical force. Regardless, I think it is incredibly important to analyze just what this bill implied and what it means for the future of women’s rights in this country.

First, the bill specifically stated that a woman could only circumvent the ban on abortion funding if she experienced “forcible rape.” This force, additionally, would have to be physical. To understand the monumental effect of this statement, it might be helpful to consider a few scenarios. Suppose a 14-year-old girl has just finished eighth grade and is getting ready to start high school. She has a relationship with a 20-something year old man, possibly even just for one night. When she says, “no,” he doesn’t beat her up or physically force her to have sex with him. He simply peer pressures her, gives her plenty of alcohol, and then conveniently doesn’t hear her when she asks him to stop. The girl is traumatized and a few months later she finds out she is pregnant. But the man didn’t break any of her bones or leave bruises on her body, so it’s not rape. He violated her emotionally and physically, destroyed her self-image, and impregnated her with a lifetime of regret.

But it’s not rape, right? What if the girl was the legal age of consent (18), but that man was her brother? What if the girl was 18 but had a disability, leaving her with the mental capacity of a seven-year-old. Is it rape?

Speaker of the House John Boehner says no. According to him, none of the above situations are legitimate rape and none of the women in those situations should be allowed to have an abortion. This is not a political issue.

It’s not a religious issue, or even an intellectual issue. This is an issue that cuts to the very core of our human conscience. The fact that men like John Boehner could think they have any ability to understand the trauma a woman experiences in any situation of rape or the inherent helplessness a woman feels when her control over her body is seized and destroyed by the government in a shameless attempt to restrict women of their right to choice, is despicable.

At USF, this issue may be especially controversial considering our institution’s emphasis on human rights and social justice, as well as the Catholic Church’s mandate against abortion. At a crossroads like this, where moral obligation and religious doctrine differ so directly, I urge all members of the USF community to acknowledge the necessity for social reform regarding women’s sexual rights and reject the notion that a potential fetus is somehow more valuable than the livelihood of a rape victim.

Laura Waldron is a  sophomore politics major.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino

Jesuit Teachings Provide Students With Informed Worldview

When students attend the University of San Francisco, one of the first things they hear is that they will be getting a Jesuit education. As students, their minds and hearts will be educated to “change the world.”

USF is a Catholic university, but it also has the Jesuit influence that differs from some traditional Catholic principles and from other Catholic Universities in the country.

The University of San Francisco has taken criticism for their liberal outlook on Catholic teachings. As a most recent example, the Catholic community condemned USF for inviting Irene Khan of Amnesty International to our campus last week.

In 2007 Amnesty International reversed their long-standing position on abortion from opposed to neutral. The Catholic community saw Khan’s invitation as a direct contradiction to Catholic beliefs.

Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society stated in a Life News article that choosing to have Amnesty International speak at USF was “a direct betrayal of its own mission in service of human rights.”

The Catholic blogs also critiqued films shown on campus. In 2007 USF, hosted a film festival which featured films about same sex marriage and abortion. One of the movies featured a Nicaraguan girl who was pregnant after being raped and was seeking an abortion. Another film surrounded Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to allow same-sex marriage in San Francisco.

The Catholic community was less than pleased to hear these films were being shown and supported by a Catholic university. Life Site News regularly recognizes these contradictions to the Catholic faith that USF makes.

Life Site News also cited a study done by nursing students taken from the Contra Costa Department of Public Health. The study promotes contraceptives.

Although not every speaker at USF represents the traditional Catholic ideals, the Foghorn supports USF’s initiative to bring a broad spectrum of speakers to our university. USF is a multi-cultural campus with students who have different religious beliefs.

The Foghorn believes that as a university, USF should be open to different points of view presented by students, which USF is.

By allowing films that may not follow Catholic teaching, the university is not denying that those viewpoints exist and encourages its students to be more educated about the world around them.

Although USF may not support gay marriage, contraceptives, or abortion, it chooses to recognize that some people do. If USF chose to shield these viewpoints from the community, it would restrict students’ work, expression, and education about the world around them.