Controversy surrounds women’s health, what should college insurance cover?

TEMP ORARY November 14, 2012 0

Abortion is a topic surrounded by informed, uninformed, open-minded and ignorant debaters around the globe. Regardless of your education, age, religious affiliation or lack of affiliation, you are entitled the right to argue your opinion on the subject as enthusiastically as you wish. Much of the tension surrounding the topic could easily be diffused if the individuals involved in abortion-related arguments would simply have respect for their opponent’s personal feelings and viewpoints, but this rarely happens due to stubbornness.
In recent days, abortion has been the topic of much debate across the campus of Columbia University in New York, NY. In previous years, the Columbia Health Program required a $900 fee of all students. This fee enabled the university to provide medical services, including abortions. The university recently removed coverage for abortions due to a new federal regulation. According to USA Today, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion coverage, “except in cases involving rape, incest or endangerment of the mother’s life.”
Upon learning of the university’s withdrawn coverage for abortion, a large number of Columbia students were outraged. Demanding the university cover abortions among students, a petition has been formulated by the Democratic student club on campus. Is it right to require all students to fund a health care program they object to morally? If I were attending Columbia University, my question would be, if the college is funding abortion in cases involving rape, incest and endangerment of the mother’s life, why should I donate my hard-earned money for your abortion? I happen to personally know students who are paying their way through school, independent of their parents’ help. I doubt these hard-working students would be willing to pay a $900 fee every school year in order to fund abortion coverage for other students. This is $900 that they will never see unless they have an abortion. I understand there are cases where individuals cannot afford to pay for their own abortion, so something must be done to help these people, but it is important to formulate a way to help these individuals while not trampling upon the moral beliefs of those who object to abortion on moral grounds. I invite you to examine my personal upbringing for a moment.
I was raised in a conservative, fundamentalist Christian household. I understand the connotations that go along with that description, but I ask that you hear me out. As a result of my upbringing I often came in contact with extremely vocal pro-life advocates. The manner in which they presented their pro-life view was often lacking in sensitivity and empathy. They very naively believed every abortion worldwide could simply be prevented by preaching the message of abstinence. As much as I agree with abstinence, I am no fool. People make mistakes, and I would side with my good friend when he said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” My job is to look for ways to love and help people, not judge or condemn them for their actions even if I disagree with their personal choices. Although I will be the first to advocate helping others, I would never endorse a system that requires all individuals to be forced to help others by funding their abortions. It simply defeats the purpose. People cannot be forced to love others as it simply turns love into an action that is grudgingly carried out.
Although I disagree with pro-choice individuals on the campus of Columbia University, I refuse to allow pro-lifers off the hook. It is very easy to advocate against an issue without having the sensitivity to care for the people and hearts involved in the situation. Instead of simply arguing in the faces of your pro-choice friends, find a way to care for a pregnant teen or a mother who is struggling to care for her child. I strongly believe that if the world was filled with individuals willing to reach out and care for pregnant or struggling mothers, abortion would be considered less frequently as an option. This is naive. The world is a terrible place for some mothers to bring their children into, I admit that, but this problem is not solved by forcing a student body to pay for a health care program that they object to on moral grounds. The answer comes in the form of love, empathy, forgiveness and generosity. Before arguing from the standpoint of a pro-life or pro-choice advocate, take the time to consider the feelings and viewpoints of your opponents. Finally, I encourage you to find ways to tangibly help individuals struggling to make difficult life choices whether those choices include abortion, adoption, or selling their kid out of frustration.

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