The anti-choice group on campus has a large event every spring called the Cemetery of the Innocents. Before I try to explain it, it might just be easier to show you:Yep, Memorial Mall gets turned into a giant cemetery for all those unborn babies evil women keep aborting. But only Christian babies, apparently.
I can't quite explain how much this event gets me down. It's here every spring, but you never can quite prepare yourself for when it's going to happen. They change the date and keep it very secretive so pro-choice and feminist groups can't counter protest. Only my freshman year was a feminist group able to figure it out, and set up a stand handing out condoms - a real way to reduce abortions. Though of course, the pro-lifers didn't get it. "What does sex have to do with it? That's so immature!" they whined.
Yeah, we're dealing with intelligent people, here.
I guess I should be thankful they're not the kind of group spouting Bible verses or waving signs of bloody fetuses. It's just that this event reminds me of what the majority of Purdue is really like - conservative, religious, anti-choice, and willfully ignorant about social issues - and it kind of depresses me. Can't go hide in my liberal atheist feminist bubble of friends when I have to walk past this thing five times during the day.
But of course, I'm a masochist, so I had to go poke around. If the signs that greeted you really wanted to be honest, they would say "Warning! Emotional arguments within! No substance or rational thought!"I approached the table where most of the pro-life students (mostly women, how sad), were standing. After gathering up some flyers (which I wish I could unread, dear lord the stupid burns), I decided to ask some questions:
Me: So, do you think abortion should be illegal?
Gal: Uh...well...we just want women to know there are other options to getting abortions.
Me: So you don't want it to be illegal?
Gal: Well, we don't have an official stance. I'd like it to be illegal, but even if we did people would still just get abortions illegally, and those would be more dangerous, so it wouldn't really accomplish much. Instead we want to educate people that they have this option.
Me: So do you guys support contraceptives then?
Gal: Well, we don't have an official stance, but I don't believe in them.
Me: How do you plan on reducing abortions then?
Gal: We just want people to know there's an option of adoption. People think it's either have the baby and raise it, or kill it. A woman in her forties came up and said she got pregnant at 18, and her mom gave her the option of getting kicked out of home, or having an abortion, so she had it and now regrets it.
Me: Well, I'm pro-choice, and even I would say that's bad. That's not choice, that's an ultimatum. No one should be forced into having one.
I then asked why they used Christian crosses to represent all abortions, and their response was basically "We're lazy and crosses were the easiest and cheapest things to make." Well, at least they're honest.
Really though, I'm disappointed. Pro-life groups are getting a lot smarter. They know certain things that they believe will make them look cruel or idiotic, so they don't officially make it a group stance, even though all of the members support it. They can't officially be Christian or oppose contraception or want abortion illegal or want prison terms for females, because that would expose the world to the crazy. In the past the group would babble about baby holocausts and other insane crap.
They say they're providing an option, but they also think they're right and if you chose incorrectly you're a horrible murderer who will be doomed to a life of guilt and suffering. That isn't an option, it's an ultimatum. They just hope people who come up to their table will be distracted by the cute little plastic fetuses and succumb to their emotional arguments.
I gave up asking them questions, because it was obvious I wasn't going to get a straight answer out of anyone. Wasn't holding my breath that someone would have an answer to overpopulation, caring for all of these unwanted children, the lack of families willing to adopt, rape, disease...