Face to Face: What are your beliefs on abortion in the U.S.?

This article is part of our sex edition, commemorating 45 years since we ran our first student sex survey. Related articles can be found by searching “sex issue,” and the PDF version of the printed paper can be found by going to About Us, then Archives.

Morgan Salzer

Face-to-Face is a feature that allows two members of the Redwood Community to grill each other, argue or simply converse about a relevant issue or event. We provide the topic, and they do the rest. This month’s participants are juniors Elle Perozzi and Grace Moser. They discuss their beliefs surrounding abortion.

What are your general opinions on abortion?
Elle Perozzi: I am pro-life… It’s so crazy to me that people would actually want to kill something that is a child or has the potential for life. The other thing I think about is, why is it on Mars that you can have a life that is a single-celled organism, the most basic life, yet when you have a single celled organism inside a mother that has the potential to become one cell of the most intelligent animal species that has ever existed…it’s okay to kill it even though it’s considered a miracle on Mars and here it’s considered a burden?

Grace Moser: I think that abortion is one of the only options for a lot of women out there especially in cases where they can’t adequately take care of a child, that kid is unwanted and lots of other factors. And if all of that is going on in the woman’s life, they shouldn’t be forced to undergo the tumultuous ride that is pregnancy.

Is abortion an option when a pregnancy is the result of rape?
EP: If you are raped and you are assaulted I think that’s the most evil crime that has ever existed and that anyone who does that should be punished by death, however I don’t think that two wrongs make a right by killing the child that was then created by that event. When you have a child and you bond with that child, it’s just your offspring now. It’s your little person, it’s your little beacon of love and hope and all that is right in the world.

GM: Women who have suffered sexual assault and rape, then ended up pregnant, in no way deserve to be forced, after that traumatic experience, to be pregnant for nine months and then bring a child into this world; a child that already might have an attachment of hatred to it because of the incidents of rape and sexual assault that happened to that mom. That woman deserves the best possible way for her to live in this world, and if that would be to abort, that’s her choice.

What are your opinions on Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that gave women a right to have an abortion?
EP: When Roe v. Wade happened, there was a phrase in there that essentially said [abortions should be] safe and rare, but if over 300,000 abortions are completed by Planned Parenthood, that doesn’t factor in all the private clinics that do [abortions] every year. That is in no way rare.

GM: In the decision of Roe v. Wade, I completely agree that a woman has a right to her own body and that it’s her fundamental right, as the court case said. I don’t think that anyone has any right to take that away from a woman.

Do you think is it better to have a child born into a difficult life, or to not have them at all?
EP: I know there are so many people who don’t want children born to drug addicts, or really poor families or families who would abuse them or harm them in any way. And of course that’s terrible and that is a crime that we should deal with as a society and in a court system. But I don’t think that we can kill a child. I think that in those cases what we should do is encourage birth control so those people can’t get pregnant and can’t conceive a child. But I don’t think that because the parents may or may not be fit parents that the child can’t have the same right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

GM: Taking care of a child, they say, [costs] somewhere up in the millions. Raising that kid, taking time out of your schedule to help that kid, teach them how to function, give them food and proper nutrients, letting them go to school—all those are things that go with raising a child and are something that you have to commit to. If you start below the poverty line in a situation where you are not able to take care of that child, you’re already putting that child in a dangerous situation. So the better alternative is to not put the child in that situation in the first place.

What is the best way to prevent abortions from being needed in the first place?
EP: I support [abstinence]…How do you prevent so many people from getting abortions? Well, maybe we should push an agenda that is perhaps more pro-abstinence. Not waiting until you get married like ‘Oh my God, I’m such a child of God,’ but it’s perhaps to wait until you are in a committed relationship or you are financially stable enough so then you can really support a child and make that child really happy and give it the best life that you possibly can. I think that’s probably the best way to lower the amounts of abortions.

GM: Proper sex education is the number one way to reduce the amount of abortions in pretty much every place in the world. Abstinence-only education is not necessarily the best option because it teaches students just to not have sex. And that’s not going to stop the number of pregnancies because students are going to do what they want. I think that [sex education] should be taught in schools as mandatory curriculum.