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    Frannie Kennedy-LongApr 4, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    I’m glad you took the time to respond to my article; I realize you feel very strongly about this issue, and I’m happy to engage with anyone who does! Since you essentially restated your comment on my article, I figured I’d do the same to respond to your points (with a few edits, of course) 🙂
    As for your first point, I don’t believe “life” is purely a matter of biology; it is also a philosophical issue. Where we draw the line between “alive” and “not alive” varies throughout history and cultures. Again though, my point stands regardless of when any individual (or even the greater scientific establishment) believes life begins. Even if I believed life began at the moment of conception, my argument would not change at all.
    Regarding your second point, that criminalizing abortion may not reduce abortions but will change “how we think about abortion,” there is no evidence for that. As the data clearly shows, pregnant women won’t change their minds about abortions, as abortion rates are consistent (or even higher) whether it is criminalized or not. The only change in thinking I can imagine is that our society might collectively think that women should be penalized for exercising bodily autonomy, which is exactly what I’m against. Though I’ve said it quite a few times, I guess it bears restating once more: criminalizing abortion will never end, or even decrease, abortion.
    I agree with you that large gains have been made in terms of the accessibility and affordability of birth control, but we cannot take this for granted. Any future changes in healthcare policy could make it far harder for a lot of women to get birth control. Birth control needs to be constantly fought for, secured, and expanded. Also, the data clearly shows that birth control decreases abortion, while criminalizing does not. Given this, why would the pro-life movement “move towards legislative means”? If you know what’s effective, why would you push for something that’s not?
    I do realize that the pro-life movement offers some beneficial services to women, and I have no issue with those services. But again, my overall point is that criminalizing abortion will always be harmful and ineffective. If the pro-life movement stopped trying to push criminalization of abortion, and instead provided aid to pregnant women and new mothers, I wouldn’t take issue with the movement as a whole. Additionally, while some pro-life groups offer beneficial services, many also spread misinformation to push their agenda (,,
    Finally, regarding the quote from the article: I don’t believe that fetuses are alive, but there are plenty of people (both pro-life and pro-choice) who do. I was trying to appeal to that perspective; the idea was to convey to people who believe criminalizing abortion saves lives that, according to their beliefs, it would actually take more. I understand your confusion, though, and wish I had better clarified that in the article! I also find it a bit dishonest that you once again made this point in your article after I clarified this in my response to your comment, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just didn’t see it.
    As always, I’d be happy to further discuss this issue with you!

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      Angelique LopezApr 8, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      Firstly, I reiterated what I said in my response article only because not everyone reads the responses online and instead mostly read the print (like me, which is how I first found your article). I expanded it a little just to make the word count.

      Talking about the philosophy of life and what different cultures believe about the definition of life veers away from what’s important — the facts, and the fact is that the fetus/human/embryo is a human life. The problem with the cultures and philosophies regarding this topic is just that — they vary. Basing legislation on things that vary to the extent that cultures and philosophies do is a senseless thing to do.

      As for what I said about changing how we think about abortion, I think you are confusing my words as “changing decisions about abortions” rather than simply how we think about them, specifically in the US. I hate to reiterate what I said too, but I never said that criminalizing abortions would end abortions. I said that it’s a big step in how we “think” about abortions. If legislation recognizes from the scientific basis that the unborn are human and alive, then we can criminalize abortion because from there we can conclude that abortion ends human lives, and more specifically, that abortion is murder and therefore immoral. Abortion rates are already dropping, so that is why the pro-life movement is moving towards legislation as our next big step to change how people “think” about abortion.
      Your data shows that other countries’ abortion rates aren’t dropping because of lack of access to birth. The US is one of the most developed countries in the world. We do not have a problem with this. You could literally buy a pack of condoms for a few bucks at the nearest Walgreens/CVS/gas station. It would make sense to move on from birth control and to legislation itself.

      I’m also against penalizing women for having abortions. If abortions were to be criminalized, penalizing the doctors would make more sense because they know exactly what they are doing since they had extensive education for it.

      “Spreading misinformation to push their agenda” — You mean like how many in the pro-choice movement say that the fetus isn’t alive? That it’s “just a clump of cells,” that abortion only counts as “3%” of Planned Parenthood’s services, and that the pro-life movement is just a bunch if religious wackos that hate women, that a fetus is just a parasite, just to name a few? If we’re going to start pointing out every time either pro-choicers or pro-lifers spread “misinformation,” we’d be here forever. Let’s stick to the facts that we have.

      “If the pro-life movement stopped trying to [criminalize] abortion, and instead provided aid to pregnant women and new mothers…” The pro-life movement does both. As I said before, you’ll see this all over in the pro-life marches, yet unfortunately, you also might not see this because of media bias. Check out my article about media bias here:
      “Other means of the pro-life movement include [pregnancy] centers, sidewalk counseling and talking to people on an individual level.” And yes, that includes providing aid to pregnant women and new mothers.

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    Angelique LopezApr 4, 2019 at 6:57 am

    This column is mainly a critique of Frannie Kennedy-Long’s opinion article, “Arguing in Defense of Pro-Choice Rights.”

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Arguing in defense of pro-life rights