The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada found in a survey that 61 per cent of Canadian women have had an unintended pregnancy. Whether you are in support a
woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy or not, abortion is a controversial topic, especially on post-secondary campuses.
Pro-choice and right to life advocates have both had a presence on Western and Fanshawe’s campuses, giving students the option to decide which side they support. Co-founder for Pro-Choice London Robyn Schawrz believes that pro-choice advocates do not get enough exposure on Western’s campus.
“I saw a lot of the anti-abortion activism in London which has been really strong for years and felt like there was no one speaking out against it and that it wasn’t normal.”
There are many different reasons why a women may not want to have a child. Schawrz believes that having a space where women feel comfortable will eliminate the negative stigmas surrounding abortions.
“Nothing is harder than if you were dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and having to walk back past [anti-abortion protesters] on your way to class or on your way to work.”
On the other side of the controversial debate are right to life advocates who believe that life begins at conception. Western’s Lifeline Organization is a student run club that advocates against abortion.
The London Area Right to Life president Michael Hale believes that abortion is not only fundamentally wrong, but is also harmful to women.
“There’s lots of research that supports that depending when an abortion takes place, the risk of breast cancer can increase dramatically.”
He continues by stating that women have many resources when they have an unexpected pregnancy, but do not want to have an abortion.
“There’s lot of support out there. Birthright here in London can help them out, also, the crises pregnancy centre is also available to help them. There are places like Fresh Start Maternity Supports that are set up to assist women that are in a situation where they need support.”