What Grinds My Gears

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Mike Pence recently signed a law that severely restricts the right of women to obtain an abortion, as established by the Roe v. Wade supreme court case. Under the guise of protecting women, the bill prohibits abortions due to the fact that the baby will, or might, have “any disability.” In addition, the bill prohibits abortions due to ancestry, a thinly-veiled attempt at prohibiting abortion due to incest.

The bill purports to protect from discrimination, preventing women from having an abortion due to a fetus’s sex or race, but this is nothing more than a cover-up of a bill whose primary purpose is to restrict women’s rights.

The fact of the matter is, a woman should not be required legally to provide a reason for her abortion. She should not have to register with the government a pre-approved reason for abortion. This is an invasion of privacy and, as I see it, a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of a reasonable expectation of privacy in one’s person and effects.

No woman would seek an abortion out of pleasure. It is not an easy decision made out of some sadistic joy of destroying a potential child, it is one of deep consideration and emotional turmoil. The decision to obtain an abortion is a private concern, and the government has no right to invade this domain of intimacy.

In addition, the bill puts a financial burden on women. Under the bill, women must pay for funeral and cremation services if she is the victim of a miscarriage. It has been tradition for the hospital to cover the cost of a miscarriage, but this bill somehow charges women responsible for the miscarriage.

Opponents may say that harsher restrictions on abortion protect women from complications during abortion. However, the data of such procedures discount any reason for concern. According to the Center for Disease Control, legally obtained abortions have a mortality rate of 0.0007%. The mortality rate for colonoscopy-specific deaths, according to the CDC, is 0.007%. Compared to the mortality rate for colonoscopies, which is a recommended procedure for many adults, legally-obtained abortions are ten times less deadly.

The right to an abortion was guaranteed in Roe v. Wade. Also under this case, women are not required to list a reason for obtaining an abortion, calling into question the constitutionality of the law passed. Planned Parenthood v. Casey granted the right of the states to place certain restrictions that do not pose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

It is my belief that this bill places an undue burden on women and invades their right to privacy as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

Syrians deserve compassion not suspision

Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions Editor

When I first heard about the 10,000 Syrian refugees who were supposed to be screened and then accepted into the United States, I was relieved. I thought it was about time that the U.S. stepped into its role and took on some responsibility.

My hopes were quickly crushed.

I believe that there is a fundamental problem with the way we, as a people, think when an overwhelming amount of Americans, specifically our leaders, have devoted themselves to preventing others from escaping horrible conditions. In fact, several of our leaders are going out of their way to keep these people where they are.

Of 50 U.S. state governors, 31 have stated their intentions to refuse the refugees. One of those governors is Indiana’s own Mike Pence.

Not only is this illegal, it is morally wrong and extremely disappointing.

State governors are not legally able to deal with immigration policies, while the President has the power to accept refugees at any time.

The claim that refugees pose a threat to the people here is incriminating to the Syrians and disregarding the precautions our nation has in place. The United States has one of the most intensive screenings in the world, and assuming that the people fleeing from war and ISIS are threats is ridiculous and offensive.

Freedom gone too far

Story by: Ian Carson, Managing Editor
Photo by: Samuel Jobe, staff photographer

religious freedom

Discrimination was legal thanks to Governor Mike Pence and his ever-faithful GOP companions. With the passing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it was legal to prevent anyone, though homosexuals were the most commonly cited example in this case, from entering a business and using its services. 

The original bill was not specifically designed to permit this activity, but it allowed it. Both the amended bill and the original bill allow for any form of religious expression so long as the State has no “compelling interest” to prevent it. What a compelling interest is exactly, is yet to be defined. This also protects citizens against governmental practices that limit freedom of religion, and allows for people to request a form of repayment if the government prevents this freedom.

As a defence for this law, Pence cited the fact that this was already made federal law by President Bill Clinton, but the law was deemed unconstitutional in City of Boerne v. Flores in 1997, which said that the similar laws should be decided by the states, and not the federal government. This bill is not the same as the federal law, and varied distinctly from other states that had protections for LGBT citizens embedded within the bill. In those bills, LGBT citizens were defined as a protected class of citizens because of the higher likelihood of discrimination, something many states already so for racial minorities. Lying to people, or in this case omitting the truth, is not the way to go when making an argument, and it seems that the governor is running out of argumentative tactics.

What this bill did allow for is discrimination. Although the bill may seem harmless, and almost needed, at first glance, it allowed for businesses to refuse service to anyone based off their religion as a form of religious expression. This is discrimination. And this is not okay. Businesses cannot refuse service to people because of their race, as was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on the federal level, however gender identity and sexuality are not protected.

There have been other negative effects on the state as well.

Ignoring the moral transgressions of the bill, it would have a negative impact on Indiana’s economy. Already companies like Eli Lilly and Apple have spoken out against the bill. GenCon and even the Disciples of Christ threatened to pull conventions from Indiana, which are both big money-boosters to the state economy. Indiana has developed a reputation as an unwelcoming and closed-minded state, stuck in the past and bound by bigotry. This is not how Indiana should be seen.

Indiana should get on the right side of history and develop a protected class for LGBT citizens, as they are part of a minority who deserve governmental protection to avoid discrimination. Other states included this within their bills, specifically prohibiting the discrimination that the Indiana bill initially allowed. Representative Ed DeLaney has already proposed two bills that provide such protections.

Recently Mike Pence signed a bill that provided limited protection on the basis of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation– the first time these words have appeared in any Indiana statute. The phrase “too little too late” comes to mind. Indiana has already developed a reputation as a bigoted state, which is a hard reputation to fix.

“I believe that such a bill would prove to be negative for Indiana citizens, even with an addendum,” said Aaron Vodney, 10. 

A bill such as this, disguised as religious freedom, allows people to take away freedom from others. The bill limited the freedom to shop at stores, to provide patronage, and the right to an open economy. The fix cannot fix what already happened. It is impossible to erase history.