Bellarmine’s Pro-life Club highlights the lack of representation in social justice issues

February 13, 2017 — by Katherine Zhou

All-male private high school Bellarmine College Preparatory found itself tied up in a community-wide controversy in January after one senior posted a tweet showing the school’s Pro-Life Club’s protest against abortion. The club focuses on activism and fundraising to end legalized abortion in the U.S..Many students from neighboring Bay Area schools were upset by this protest, and for good reason. Although abortion is an issue that could affect a man’s life indirectly, it is ultimately pertinent to a woman’s health and well-being.

 
 

All-male private high school Bellarmine College Preparatory found itself tied up in a community-wide controversy in January after one senior posted a tweet showing the school’s Pro-Life Club’s protest against abortion. The club focuses on activism and fundraising to end legalized abortion in the U.S..

The tweet reads, “Today, Bell Pro-Life Club set up a memorial for the 55+ million innocent Americans killed by abortion #StandForLife,” along with pictures of hundreds of tiny crosses planted in the ground, and of two students holding signs that read, “I am Pro-Life.”

Many students from neighboring Bay Area schools were upset by this protest, and for good reason. Although abortion is an issue that could affect a man’s life indirectly, it is ultimately pertinent to a woman’s health and well-being.

Without truly knowing the struggles of being a woman, these boys promote a cause based on pure ideology with no experience. Despite the current beliefs of the presidential administration, no person should force women to give birth.

Moreover, the fact that the club members are all male — therefore unable to experience pregnancy — demonstrates that the protest was conducted in a manner that did not fairly represent the views of abortion’s primary “constituents:” women. A man has the ability to walk away from the pregnancy while the woman will forever be stuck with the choice: to abort or keep and raise the child, sometimes as a single mother.

Women, therefore, should be given a choice, especially in cases of medical necessity. Freedom of speech is a human right; and though these boys can and should have an opinion, they must first be able to accurately judge the issues they stand for before launching a public protest.

One pro-life blog, LifeNews.com, states that men should be able to stand up unapologetically for their pro-life beliefs, citing that even though a woman is not homeless, she can still have an opinion on homelessness, and even though she hasn’t murdered anyone, she can still have an opinion on murderers.

There should be a realization that there is simply less understanding on the complexities of the issues they stand for, especially when it comes to preventing a medical procedure. Because men have no direct experience with abortion, most of their beliefs will come from their own subscribed ethics and morals, often tainted with religious hues. This should never be used as grounds to prevent a medical procedure.

For example, Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running-mate in the November election, is Catholic, and despite being “Pro-Life” himself, Kaine supports abortion rights since he believes in allowing women to make that decision themselves. He further spoke about the difference between personal religious beliefs and public policy.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards agrees with Kaine’s approach.

“The people of America don’t like it when politicians put their own personal politics ahead of the health and lives of women,” Richards said to the Women in the World Summit in New York.

This brings up the idea that there needs to be more representation from the directly affected party. When there are clubs that affect certain communities, there should be efforts from schools like Bellarmine to include those groups.

For example, they could try to see if women from local all-girls schools would like to join their club, or host female speakers in order to gain better insight on their issues. It is important that students like those in the Bellarmine club have educated opinions — opinions based on exposure, not pure ideology — before their ideas can be taken seriously.

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