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To the women on campus (men, please feel free to read along): This is a significant week for us.

Thursday, Jan. 22, marks the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in America.

Some of you will celebrate 36 years of reproductive freedom and choice.

Others will mourn nearly 50 million children lost to abortion.

Most of you, I imagine, will not give the date a second thought as you scribble it at the top of your class notes. After all, our generation has never known a day without legal abortion-on-demand.

Yet after three-and-a-half decades — plus the pre-Roe years previous — the debate isn’t over.

Why? The short answer is this: philosophers, scholars, lawyers, and scientists still cannot decide on an answer to this fundamental question: “What is the unborn?”

The long answer? I have yet to meet anyone who thinks an abortion is an inherently good thing. Rather, most people who consider themselves pro-choice with whom I’ve conversed think abortion is the sometimes necessary outcome of an unfortunate situation. They agree that we should try to reduce the number of abortions.

Hence, the debate — how do we reduce abortions? How do we help women choose life for their child?

By offering them a true choice.

When I hear “choice,” that implies to me that a woman has more than one option that she can feasibly choose. If a woman feels she had no practical options other than abortion, did she really choose?

I am convinced that abortion is a sign that society has failed to meet the needs of women.

Rather than find long-term solutions to the challenges faced by pregnant women — a lack of affordable childcare, the perception that she must choose between her education and her child, difficulties in combining work and family life, stigma attached to unmarried pregnancies, discrimination in the workplace, lack of access to affordable healthcare, a lack of attractive adoption options, pressure from others to abort, lack of support from the father — abortion is a quick solution that leaves these issues unaddressed.

In 1869, early feminist Mattie Brinkerhoff wrote the following in a newspaper published by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: “When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society. So when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.”

Let us work together to find real, tangible solutions to these problems.

To all women on campus — students, faculty, staff, administration — you deserve better than abortion. Women deserve better.

Women deserve better than abortion and children deserve the right to live, to grow and develop.

It is not necessary to pit the rights of women against the rights of children.

Can we find a way to love them both?

Andrea wants you to know that pregnancy and post-natal resources are available for women in need of help. Contact her at

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