U students rally on campus for abortion rights

by Ryan Dionne

Despite cold temperatures Tuesday, students gathered outside Coffman Union to promote abortion rights.

The rally was organized by Law Students for Choice, Socialist Alternative Club, Women’s Forum, Women’s

Student Activist Collective and University Choice Coalition, as part of International Women’s Day.

“I think we need to defend our right to choose,” said Katie Quarles, a member of the Socialist Alternative Club.

President George W. Bush is trying to take away that right by attempting to overturn Roe v. Wade, Quarles said.

Roe v. Wade was a landmark case that legalized abortion in 1973.

Part of the rally was to help make students aware that current events affect their lives, Quarles said.

If women are forced to carry a fetus to full term against their will, they are being forced to have children, she said.

“I think the main issue is that women should have control over their reproductive rights,” Quarles said.

Approximately 24 people gathered to hear speeches supporting abortion rights and joined impromptu chants started by moderator Ty Moore.

“Hey, Bush, what d’ya say? How many women did you kill today?” he chanted.

Stacey Keenan, University Choice Coalition co-chairwoman, said supporting abortion is about more than choice; it is about respecting women.

“I feel that rights of women are being ignored,” she said.

Some pharmacies are able to refuse a prescription if the pharmacist chooses to, Keenan said.

If the prescription is for birth control, that is a serious matter, she said.

Making birth control and the morning-after pill available and affordable is important, Keenan said, because it could mean fewer abortions.

“I also believe that abortion is the last resort,” she said.

No matter what their stance, both men and women have to be informed about contraception, she said.

Many activists who oppose abortion believe that at conception, the fetus is a human.

“I believe a baby inside a woman is still a life,” said Eric Emery, an abortion opponent at the rally.

Legalizing abortion is like legalizing murder, he said.

“Why would I want to legalize murder?” Emery said.

Keenan said many people believe the government shouldn’t regulate abortion, even though they personally think it’s wrong.