Lorain County Community College prides itself on firsts and diversity and that includes tackling all sorts of different difficult and oftentimes sensitive topics. Introduced this fall semester, the Student Senate team has conducted meetings to discuss these topics, deemed “real talks”.
From gay rights to religion to domestic violence, the group has continued to lead students in conversations in a safe, civilized space. After working up towards it, the senate introduced the topic of abortion, a long time headed debate since its inception into politics in 1973.
“Before we start the meeting, please keep in mind that people have different opinions for various reasons,” said Student senate vice president Brenda Hitchens. The senate was originally unsure of introducing the topic because of its disastrous discussions in the past, but ultimately decided the student body was mature enough to handle it.
Opening with a video on the timeline of Roe v. Wade, a historic landmark Supreme Court Case that was introduced in 1970, passed in 1973 and overturned just earlier this May, the senate team then opened the floor for students to voice their opinions on the matter.
“It seems like abortion has had a tumultuous history since its beginning with different restrictions, overrulings and more,” said student Abe Elkammaty. “If it has been this way, what’s stopping it from being overturned once more?”
Other students agreed with Elkammaty, but did point out that severe restrictions that now exist. “In many states in the U.S. including Ohio, there have been total abortion bans put in place. This means that if a woman is seeking an abortion for whatever reason including rape and incest, she could be arrested as well as anyone who helps her,” said one student who preferred to remain anonymous.
The terrifying reality is that now in some states, miscarriages which can be mistaken for abortions are also under fire. “There was a woman in Ohio that was at the risk of having a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage,” said Harry Kestler, M.D., a professor at LCCC and a leading scientist on HIV research. “This woman was turned away from hospitals who refused to help her because they weren’t sure if her miscarriage was due to natural causes or because of an abortion pill.”
Not only do the doctors actions go against the Hippocratic Oath of do not harm, it also defies the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act or EMTALA introduced in 1986. “EMTALA is a law that states if a woman is in active labor, she cannot be turned away from a hospital or help, no matter the situation,” said Kestler.
High risk and disease
Kestler also discussed different types of diseases that can affect a mother or child during pregnancy that can often lead to the need of a medical abortion. “Any type of STD the mother has while pregnant has the capability of being transferred to the child, especially HIV,” he said. “Now there are ways to prevent this, namely by having the mother take medicine that fights the disease, but there’s always still the chance that it can be passed on.”
Kestler then told the story of a student he once had who wanted to have a child despite having HIV. “Pregnancy in and of itself is a very risky business for both the parent and child. There are so many things that can go wrong,” Kestler said.
High risk pregnancies are also a common cause of many to seek abortions. A high risk pregnancy is when there is danger to either the child, mother or both during the pregnancy that can result in death. One of the leading causes is Polycystic Ovary syndrome.
“This is when there are cysts that form on the ovaries that can make pregnancy extremely difficult and also incredibly painful,” said Nashalie Nieves. “Anything from irregular hormones to searing pain can cause the loss of a child or death of the mother.”
For the future
Ultimately after looking at all of the information the group agreed that no matter their stance on abortion, there are many ways in which they can be avoided. “We need to have better sex ed in school as well as correct the foster care system,” said Dannelle Johnson.
“There are so many children in this world who are suffering and so many more young adults who don’t understand the weight of pregnancy, without these changes, nothing will get better.”