Nothing like a little acid to bring tears to your eyes

Perhaps anti-abortion activists should count irony among their weapons

Ed De La Garza

Although I don't go to church, I consider myself to be a Catholic. My beliefs are still grounded on the ideals that were forced down my throat in private school, but I just don't believe God or Jesus should be confined to any one building or any one day.

That said, it used to be very difficult to reconcile my religious beliefs with my pro-choice stance. Then came the Republican convention in '92 when there were lines of pro-life activists protesting, holding their signs with their children in tow, screaming at women entering these clinics. And then came the terrorist attacks where shouts turned to property damage, harassment and, ultimately, to violence and deaths.

Few pro-lifers see the irony in protesting the killing of one life while as a whole being largely pro-death penalty. A life is a life, isn't it? I understand that I may be stereotyping a group of people; however, radical pro-lifers usually belong to the far right, which supports the death penalty.

I'm pro-choice, but I also support the death penalty. You can't have it both ways, can you?

There was a great debate over the death of Karla Faye Tucker. Was anybody else sickened when people began cheering and singing after she was put to death?

I understand the argument about abortion being murder. In my heart I know it's true. But who's going to take care of the baby if the mother can't support it? The church? Well, then, maybe she should have thought about that before she got pregnant.

Maybe she can't afford birth control. Well, then, she can give it up for adoption, right? Maybe, but you carry a child for nine months and then go through labor for a child you're not going to keep.

There are cheaper alternatives to the pill. What about condoms or other contraceptives? Sure, but the problem is, the church doesn't condone them. Well, surely there are places where women can go to get counseling and perhaps be given alternatives to abortion or birth control?

Yeah, there are places like that. They're called planned parenthood clinics, but you people like to blow them up, remember? If you don't blow them up, then you sure do make it hard for women to enter these clinics, what with the harassment and butyric acid.

Four clinics in southwest Houston had to be shut down because somebody spread poisonous, foul-smelling acid in the buildings, meaning that women could not get any help that day. The same thing happened earlier in Florida and New Orleans.

Before you start saying, "Well, so what? What's discomfort compared to an innocent life?" let me just fill you in on what goes on in these clinics.

Apart from abortions, planned parenthood clinics provide family planning, pregnancy testing, HIV testing, STD screening, safer sex counseling, prenatal care and adoption referrals.

Of these four clinics, three were located in buildings housing other businesses, meaning those workers lost the day's wages, meaning food was taken off their tables. All in the name of God and morality, right?

Actions like these do nothing but spread hatred toward the entire pro-life movement, regardless of group affiliation - especially when followed by comments such as those of Flip Benham, Operation Rescue director, who said the acid may have been planted by the clinics to make themselves the victims instead of the babies.

Brilliant. That's par for the course as far as Operation Rescue is concerned. Randall Terry, co-founder of the group, once stated, "Yes, hate (towards abortion clinics) is good."

Just because I'm pro-choice doesn't mean I'm pro-abortion. I just believe a woman has the right to choose when or if to have a baby, especially in the case of rape or incest. It doesn't mean abortion on demand or abortion as birth control. What it's about is understanding that women (and men, for that matter) are capable of making their own moral judgments.

Roe v. Wade still stands, in spite of butyric acid.

De La Garza is a senior

English major. Send e-mail to edelagar@bayou.uh.edu.

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