Tag Archives: roe v wade

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.”

*Correction: 

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.


40 Years since Roe v. Wade, Some Still Determined to Halt Progress

This week marked the 40th  anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion and affirmed that people with a uterus have the right to choose what’s best for them in conjunction with their doctor, without the interference of politics. However, this weekend also marked the “Walk for Life” march in San Francisco, in which hundreds of anti-abortion activists toted pictures of babies and religious icons. When I walked past the march, I noticed that, while there were many women, the majority of the participants were cisgender men. In fact, the current president, John Paul Dugyon, of USF’s anti-choice group ‘Students for Life’ is a cisgender male. What I don’t understand is why people without a uterus are trying to tell me what I can and cannot do with mine.

Although it’s been established that access to abortion is a legal right, there continues to be a squabble over reproductive health care despite the fact that it’s been proven that having access to those medical services is good for both individuals and society writ large. In fact, a study conducted by UCSF confirmed that women who are blocked from having abortions are far more likely to wind up below the poverty line, unemployed and dependent on public assistance. They were more prone to staying with their partner, but also more likely to have experienced domestic abuse and feel less positive about their relationship. However, having an abortion doesn’t have a negative impact on mental health, and the vast majority of those that do have an abortion feel it was the right decision even after the fact.

People are at liberty to choose whether or not they want an abortion. It’s not my business what you choose to do with your body, nor is it anyone else’s. However, seeking to eliminate that right is an active attack against anyone with a uterus. Consider the death of Savita Halappanavar, the woman in Ireland who died due to being denied an abortion because public policy dictated that the fetus that was killing her was more important than her life. Think on the hundreds of thousands of other women across the globe who have suffered and continue to die under similar circumstances or by seeking unsafe ’back alley’ abortions when they don’t have adequate and unfettered access to the health care they need. To those who call themselves pro-life, I implore you to look in the eyes of someone who could potentially want an abortion at some point in their life and tell them you want them to significantly harm their own chances at living a prosperous, happy and healthy life for the sake of a microscopic group of cells.