IPFW Women's Studies Program's Reproductive Rights Events Stir Debate (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch

March 18, 2013 Updated Nov 8, 2013 at 8:24 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- This month many events that the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Women's Studies Program is hosting have raised concern among several Right To Life groups.

The five events to celebrate Women's History Month are themed around "Women's Reproductive Rights: A Historical and Global Perspective". To start the month, Heather Ault presented her "4000 Years for Choice: Artwork to Celebrate Abortion Rights and Reproductive Justice". That same week the program hosted a lecture titled "What's Past is Prologue:The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Women's Equality".

Monday several IPFW Students for Life, Allen County Right to Life and Indiana Right to Life all released statements denouncing the month long event series.

“As a student at IPFW, and as a woman, I am deeply offended that the Women's Studies Program sees abortion as the appropriate topic to celebrate during Women's History Month,” stated Michelle Landrigan, President of IPFW Students for Life. “The Women's Studies Program could have easily found prominent accomplishments of women to celebrate. Modern history alone has given us female trailblazers like suffragist Susan B. Anthony, aviator Amelia Earhart, civil rights activist Rosa Parks and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, just to name a few. Women's History Month is about paying tribute to the countless women who have made our world a better place, and should not be twisted to celebrate a procedure that ends a human life.”

“Women deserve better than abortion,” said Cathie Humbarger, Executive Director of Allen County Right to Life. “Abortion damages women emotionally and physically. Abortion is labeled as a simple 'fix' but the pain of abortion effects women for decades. A 2011 study in the British Journal of Psychiatry found post-abortive women were nearly twice as likely to deal with mental health problems compared to other women. Furthermore, abortion targets pre-born girls through genocide. It's estimated that 200 million women are missing globally due to sex-selective abortion. Abortion is not something to celebrate at IPFW or anywhere.”

“A celebration of abortion on a college campus tries to normalize abortion, but abortion is anything but normal” stated Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Women in crisis pregnancies need help and support rather than pressure to choose abortion and end the child's life. A month-long celebration of abortion merely attempts to mask the pain of abortion and encourages women to embrace the tragic practice of abortion.”

Then in response to these statement George McClellan, vice chancellor of student affairs at IPFW said "IPFW is proud of our Women’s Studies Program and of the women’s history month programming in the same way that we are proud of our students in Students for Life and the way they’re involved in this discussion". He

He added that informed and respectful discussion on an issue where people have such deeply held beliefs is "critically important and a core value of the IPFW campus". He continued that "it is important to give them a voice and be active around those issues".

McClellan finished saying "one of the really important roles of a university is to be a place where ideas are presented, discussed and interrogated. From our point of view, that's what's going on here".

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