Letter to the Editor: Posters are inappropriate and trivializing

Letter to the Editor: Posters are inappropriate and trivializing

Letter to the Editor – Feb. 13, 2015

“We’re purposely trying to take a loving, non-political — as much as possible — approach,” explained the president of Calvin’s new anti-abortion student organization, Students For Life, to a Chimes staff writer last February.

However, recently as I walked on campus past the several “Save the Babies” posters designed after an internet meme, I felt my heart sink into my stomach, knowing that I am being judged and shamed unknowingly by fellow students.

I felt anything but loved by my peers who are involved in this organization. It is important to note that I consider some of the leadership to be friends, or at least friendly acquaintances, though none of these people know my secret: I had an abortion.

Yes, I am a Christian, and no, I wasn’t raped. After a year or so of dating, my boyfriend and I decided together that we wanted to have sex. We talked about it beforehand, thought about it for a while and decided that it was right for us.

Although we used contraception, I got pregnant unexpectedly. Again, we made a big decision together: I got the abortion, but he also experienced a range of emotions through the process.

He and I are still together, and he remains my best friend. We don’t have any regrets, even though neither of us wanted the pregnancy or abortion.

I am sharing my experience because I want to raise awareness of a perspective that is indeed present on our campus. I feel bullied by these posters and the callous actions displayed by Students For Life towards peers, staff and faculty who have been affected by abortion.

I’m not writing to change your political opinions on this topic. I know that an anonymous letter probably won’t change your worldview that makes you think and feel the way that you do.

I am writing to acknowledge that the “Save The Babies” posters are inappropriate and trivialize this deeply personal topic. These posters are the antithesis to creating an accepting community and safe learning environment for all students.

I urge Students For Life to reconsider their form of advertising because I, along with peers, am uncomfortable and hurt by the insensitivity displayed by the group.

I shouldn’t feel the need to justify my personal decision to my peers or Students For Life. People have a variety of reasons for choosing abortion, and this is my story.

Perhaps Students For Life could care for expecting mothers and babies by volunteering or raising money for local organizations like the La Leche League of Grand Rapids, Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness, or a young moms’ support group instead of imposing unsympathetic propaganda around our community space.


Editor-in-chief Lauren DeHaan explains here the decision to publish this letter anonymously.