November 22, 1983 · Cavalier Daily

Proposed Change of Abortion Insurance not Chauvinistic

In response to a previous letter to the editor that supported including abortion on the Student Health insurance plan, this letter to the editor rejects the idea that excluding abortion from the insurance plan is sexist. It also asserts that human life begins at conception and rejects the idea that abortion is a personal matter over which the college council should have no jurisdiction.


1983-11-22 Cavalier Daily Proposed Change of Abortion Insurance not Chauvinistic.pdf
Debi Mulligan
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Proposed Change of Abortion Insurance not Chauvinistic
In response to the letter concerning abortion coverage (The Cavalier Daily, Nov. 14), I disagree that the change being contemplated by the Student Council is basically chauvinistic, sexist, and misogynistic.
The elimination of abortion coverage is not a purposely spiteful act by the males the University to “burden women because they were not born male.” Lucrezi and Redmond stated that the advocates of of eliminating abortion coverage age “hiding behind moralistic attitudes.” First of all, we are not hiding behind anything Certainly it be considered a moral stance, but it is also humanitarian one.
Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth (incidentally a woman), a principal research associate of the Harvard University Medical School, remarked: "It is correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception. . . and that this developing human always is a member of our species in all stages of its life." People can have different moral beliefs, but the human consensus should remain that the taking of a defenseless human life cannot be justified.
Objections to abortion cannot be classified with objections against tobacco and alcohol. It is ridiculous to compare refusing to pay for abortion average and refusing to pay for respiratory ailments or alcohol dependency treatment. In the latter cases, medical treatment is proposed to save the life of a patient suffering from a disease or an illness. Logically, according to Lucrezi and Redmond’s argument, this implies “getting rid of" an unborn child is the same as curing a disease or an illness.
Abortion is the complete opposite of saving a life, whether the ailment stemmed from alcohol and tobacco or not.
The letter also states that "if the Supreme Court of the United States feels a woman has the right to control what happens to her body, what right does Student Council have to effectively deny female students this freedom of choice?” Would you wish council to support the Supreme Court if it decided, for example, that women’s suffrage should be revoked. Or is it only that in this matter it supports your position, so therefore its decision should be accepted and unquestioned?
Council, as unimportant as you may think it is, has a right to question the nine very human men who decided the Roe v. Wade decision. On March 5, 1857, the Supreme Court ruled blacks were not legal “persons in the in the Dred Scott decision. The judges decided blacks were the property of their owner and could be bought, sold, used, or even killed if their owner desired. Will we look back on the Roe v. Wade decision in the same horror and regret with which we now look at the Dred Scott decision. If we say the Supreme Court has the final irrefutable word on who is considered human we are not being given “freedom of choice” but actually losing our freedom.
My final point of contention is the idea that council should not get involved with a "private matter." Most crime is done in private: murder, rape, theft and assault. Should we do nothing to stop these crimes because they are "private matters?" Or, closer to the point at hand, if a woman was about to throw her week-old baby out of a ninth-floor window, would we say that it is her baby – therefore her own matter – and she can do what she wants with it? I would hope people would care enough not to react in this manner.
I would like conclude by saying that Ms. Lucrezi and Ms. Redmond need to understand that the proposal to eliminate abortion coverage is not a chauvinistic plot to discriminate against the women of the University. Many of the backers of the proposition, including myself, are women. What we see at stake in this debate are not theories and principles of an insurance system.
It is not a financial, sexist or moral issue. Every human being, male and female, must be given the inalienable right of life and liberty. Otherwise, the utilitarian ideal that is pervading American society – that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived – will crush our chances of achieving human dignity for the whole human race.
Debi Mulligan
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Date Added July 19, 2016
Date Modifed December 12, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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