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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Moral arguments distract from abortion prevention

By Joey Richards

The topic of “when life begins” has been going back and forth for a couple of weeks now in The Chronicle, with the arguments falling into two major camps.

The first group claims embryos are humans and abortion is murder. Therefore, abortion should be illegal because it is the taking of a human life. The second group argues that humans, specifically women, have the right to control their own bodies, embryos are not fully human and therefore abortion is not murder.

What good is this debate? Even if science disproves one point, will that end the argument for good? Doubtful. We at Students for Choice believe the question of when human life begins leads to a distracting stalemate.

Reducing the need for abortion is a laudable goal. However, some disagree on how to reach this goal. Students for Choice believes we need to move from entrenched and unending moral arguments to at least two practical solutions: birth control and education.

Since Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act, campus health centers across the country have seen an increase in the cost of birth control. At the U, the price has increased from about $15 to $45 for a cycle of birth control. As college students, we often find ourselves struggling to manage our almost nonexistent income. The last thing we need to fret over is how to afford the birth control that is essential in planning if and when we have children.

People choose to have abortions for many reasons, the most common being unintended pregnancy. Affordable birth control can help reduce unintended pregnancies, thereby reducing the need for abortion. We will not see a decrease in the need for abortion if we do not ensure that everyone who wants to can manage her and his own fertility.

Not only do we need access to family planning services to reduce unintended pregnancies, but we also need access to education about family planning. “Let’s talk about sex,” is not just a refrain to a catchy song8212;it remains a necessity in promoting safe and healthy choices about sex and pregnancy. People might disagree as to which types of sex and reasons for having sex are appropriate, but this red herring leads our attention away from the reality that people have sex. The prevalence of abstinence-only programs denies reality, wastes time and discriminates against certain groups. Members of Students for Choice said they believe in the fundamental human right of medically accurate, age-appropriate access to comprehensive sexuality education.

The issue of abortion has been in the realm of philosophy and out of touch with the realm of practicality for too long now. We have been distracted from practical solutions to making abortion safe, legal and most of all, rare. In order to work together to reduce the need for abortion, we need to stop arguing about its morality and focus on preventative approaches to unintended pregnancies. Putting our energy into affordable and accessible birth control and comprehensive sexuality education will help us toward that end.

[email protected]

Editor’s Note8212;Joey Richards is a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Action Council, which is affiliated with Students for Choice at the U.

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