Topics of abortion covered in Levan Center

Victoria Miller, Opinions Editor

The Gadfly Café hosted their first discussion this semester in the Norman Levan Center on Sep. 15th, regarding the topic of abortion without access.

Led by Rene Trujillo, a philosophy professor at Bakersfield College, the discussion invited faculty, staff, students, and others in the community to share their ideas and beliefs about the controversial subject.

The discussion covered the multiple complexities within the topic of abortion, including the unequal burden of the abortion on the women versus the men, the problems that women face when access to abortion clinics are limited, and the moral questions that accompany the idea of abortion.

A variety of perspectives were expressed concerning abortion. One of the perspectives given was from Jennifer Smith, organizer of Pro- Choice Kern County, who said a child should be wanted and cared for.

When another attendee mentioned the idea that women who have had multiple abortions should have their tubes tied, Smith replied with facts. “You won’t find a doctor to tie your tubes if you are under a certain age, and if you are married and separated, you’ll need consent from your husband before the doctor will proceed.”

Another idea that was expressed was that if access to abortions were limited, access to sexual education needs to be more prominent, and it was agreed by multiple attendees that Kern County is lacking in that department.

Trujillo brought up abortion- related events that have made national headlines. One of these situations was the woman in Ireland who was denied an abortion although she could not healthily carry the child, which led to both the mother and fetus’s death. Trujillo mentioned in some cases, pregnancy is seen as a “death sentence”.

Rick Perry and Texas’s legislation regarding abortion was also highly discussed. Trujillo asked the question, “Because we claim we have a right to these services, does that make government responsible to provide them to us?”

One attendee answered that if our government wants to protect their people, they need to provide a safe outlet because abortions will continue to happen, legally or illegally.

Trujillo spoke about a quote from Judith Thomas. “Abortion is not the termination of life, but the unwillingness to provide for that life.” He said it was important not to over-theorize abortion and make it academic because it is a real, emotional thing that people experience.

The next Gadfly Café discussion will be held October 13, 12:30- 1:30 p.m. in the Levan Center regarding marriage equality.