web_tb_torchjobfair_2014

More Than Just Abortion

“Reproductive Justice Advocate” –why abortion should be accepted

by Published: Mar 6, 2013

Reproductive Justice Advocate: Lynn Paltrow, author and attorney, speaks to an audience in the Business Building about advocating for abortion to be accepted. Photo By: Olivia Odette | Photographer

Reproductive Justice Advocate: Lynn Paltrow, author and attor­ney, speaks to an audi­ence in the Business Building about advo­cat­ing for abor­tion to be accepted. Photo By: Olivia Odette | Photographer

Although many describe her as a “Pro-Choice Speaker,” she prefers the term “Reproductive Justice Advocate.”

Lynn Paltrow, author and attor­ney, vis­ited Ferris to explain why the right to choose abor­tion is impor­tant for women to have.

“[I’m here] to explain why the court shouldn’t over­turn Roe V. Wade, and why it would be dev­as­tat­ing, not just for the right to choose abor­tion, but really for women, their health and their sta­tus of con­sti­tu­tional person.”

Throughout her pre­sen­ta­tion, Paltrow explained that nearly all of the court cases she has seen deal­ing with the right to choose con­tained sig­nif­i­cant rea­sons for why the woman should have the right.

She said not a sin­gle per­son wrote things like, “I had an abor­tion because I had a right to choose,” or “I had an abor­tion because it’s my body, my right,” or any of the slo­gans main­stream pro-choice groups encour­age peo­ple to use. Instead, people’s rea­son­ings were about respon­si­bil­ity, rela­tion­ships and connections.

Samantha Kilmartin, Ferris sopho­more in com­mu­ni­ca­tion, not only attended Paltrow’s pre­sen­ta­tion, but also attended the pro-life speaker’s pre­sen­ta­tion on cam­pus at the end of January. Kilmartin said she really con­nected with Paltrow.

“The pro-choice speaker was much dif­fer­ent than I thought she was going to be. She used a lot of facts and sta­tis­ti­cal infor­ma­tion to back her beliefs up,” Kilmartin said. “She pointed out many dif­fer­ent court cases that made the mat­ter more real and seri­ous to me. If I had to pick a side, I would say pro-choice because everyone’s preg­nancy comes with respon­si­bly, and you should have the choice in decid­ing if you can han­dle all of them that come with hav­ing a baby.”

Paltrow, the founder and exec­u­tive direc­tor of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, spoke to an audi­ence of Ferris stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff and com­mu­nity mem­bers on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The atten­dance was low, but the par­tic­i­pa­tion was high.

Although the peo­ple in atten­dance were active audi­ence mem­bers, Kilmartin had her own thoughts about why many peo­ple did not attend the event.

“I believe the rea­son for the low turnout is the lack of inter­est. Both speak­ers came with heavy top­ics, and some peo­ple don’t want to face them or even think they need to worry about things like this,” Kilmartin said.

“I believe as we age and go through expe­ri­ences with hav­ing chil­dren, more peo­ple will start to care and real­ize that these top­ics are impor­tant and need to be discussed.”

During the ques­tion and answer ses­sion, the con­ver­sa­tion became very con­tro­ver­sial at times. At the end of the event, Paltrow made cer­tain her point was clear.

“In other words, to say that she is just hav­ing it [an abor­tion] for convenience—you know what, peo­ple have the right to free speech. They have all sorts of things that we can label. But when we talk about women, we sort of dis­miss what they have to do as just con­ve­nient,” Paltrow said. “I don’t think preg­nancy is con­ve­nient. I don’t think giv­ing birth is con­ve­nient. I don’t think rais­ing chil­dren is con­ve­nient. This is the con­di­tion of being human and whether or not the label, women will do what they need to do around their repro­duc­tive lives.”