By Lenore Healy, WYA HQ Intern from the US
This past weekend, March 25-27, World Youth Alliance North America attended the March for Life 2013 and as an intern, I had the opportunity to also participate in the National Review Institute (NRI) Summit. The conference covered a wide spectrum of political issues, from energy and the fiscal mess to demographics and immigration, providing various conservative perspectives.
During a women’s panel discussion Friday night, the discussion hit upon the recent March for life, the highly controversial issue of abortion, and the greatly misconstrued understanding of “women’s health”. In relation to this topic, Kellyanne Conway, panelist and President/CEO of The Polling Company, Inc., commented:
“There’s all this talk of ‘women’s issues’, but we never talk about men’s issues.”
This succinct yet powerful statement highlights a very important distinction within this heated debate about abortion. When discussing abortion, I have often been told by a man that he feels he cannot tell a woman what to do with her body. Frequently, the abortion debate is fought upon the grounds of the women’s right to choose, centering the discussion on abortion being a woman’s issue rather than a matter of the child and human dignity. Obviously the pregnancy and the issue of abortion intimately and directly pertain to the woman. However, it is essential to acknowledge that abortion is also a “men’s issue” for it is a matter of the responsibility of both the man and woman as parents and concerns the life of not just her, but their child. Let us center the debate on the child and parental responsibility, rather than limit it to being merely a women’s issue. It concerns a human life, human dignity, and the family, authentic understandings of which are necessary foundations for the flourishing of our culture.
Friday afternoon, I was deeply moved to witness the 500,000+ marchers at the March for Life, the majority of whom were young men and women. It is significant to note that here abortion was not treated as merely a women’s issue, but rightfully as a responsibility of both sexes to protect the gift of another human person in the womb. As a young person, and particularly a young woman, it was an inspiration and a sign of hope to behold thousands and thousands of young people standing up to defend the right to life of the child and acknowledging the gift that the child is.
Lenore is an Intern at World Youth Alliance Headquarters, NYC.