Feminist Sally Winn Explores Abortion's Causes

by Jeremy Sexton '07

September 7, 2006

Sally Winn returned to her hometown of Crawfordsville Wednesday to deliver her talk "Refuse to Choose: Reclaiming Feminism."

"Being a feminist against abortion is not an oxymoron," Winn said. "I hope all of you walk out of here with a different perspective."

Winn is the Senior Communications Director of Feminist for Life (FFL), an organization dedicated to enhancing and necessitating women who are faced with a life-altering decision when becoming pregnant.

"Women today get abortions not necessarily because they choose to do so, but because they have a lack of options," Winn said. "Abortion in not a solution but a symptom of the problem. Suffrage works to change society to accept women, the second wave of feminism changed women to be accepted by society and we have been paying for it ever since."

FFL is an organization dedicated to activities and encourages people to be catalyst for leadership and change.

"Today there are approximately 1.3 million surgical abortions in the United States," Winn said. "Every 38 seconds your sister, mother, girlfriend, or your best friend is laying down her body for an abortion. Women are having abortions for two primary reasons; one for lack of emotional support and two for lack of financial resources. It is not about controlling our bodies it is about being coerced."

Winn urged her audience to be activist in the fight for women’s rights.

"It is time for our friends, families, boyfriends, and universities to wake up smell the coffee," Winn said. "We are women. We are not men and we have children, so get over it. Accommodate us for who we are instead of forcing us to be something we are not. We refuse to choose between women and our children."

Members of the audience offered their thoughts and reflections after the talk.

"It seems to me that every women has the right to have resources when dealing with the issue of pregnancy," Senior Sterling Carter said. "However, I am curious as to where these resources come from. In our capitalist society everyone is by nature individual and each individual can take care of himself or herself. I wonder if she is advocating some sort of socialized medicine. It seems like a very good plan and all these ideas should be done, but where these resources will come from is something that needs to be addressed."

"She provoked and gave an interesting perspective," Religion Professor Dr. David Blix said.

"I don’t think anyone ever wants to be in a situation where they have to make a decision regarding an unplanned pregnancy," Senior Nate Mullendore said. "That having been said I think the one thing that really struck me about what she said was that we are not trying to make abortion illegal we are trying to make it unthinkable. No one wants to have an abortion I don’t think. I think what is important is not to remove choices from people but enable them to have a set of choices to make."

The Wabash Commentary and the Gender Issues Committee sponsored Winn’s talk.


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