Jennifer Moore Conrow, director of Community Outreach and Education at The Cherry Hill Women’s Center, offered some answers to the myths and questions surrounding abortion on Wednesday night in Brower Student Center.
Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) and NARAL Pro-Choice New Jersey organized the event. “We (VOX) are a pro-choice organization and we like to share our stance on reproductive rights with the rest of the campus community,” Kathy Loglisci, junior secondary education/English major and VOX president at the College, said.
“My main goal is to demystify everything that surrounds abortion,” Conrow said. “Since we don’t talk about it, it creates a hostile environment around women who think about or choose abortion.”
Conrow feels it is important to get the information and facts out in the open, considering that at some point many women will handle pregnancy issues. “Approximately 43 percent of all women will have an abortion by the age of 45,” Conrow said.
One major concern when it comes to abortion is complications and injuries dealing with the actual procedure. “Ninety-seven percent of all women (who have an abortion) report no complications,” she said. “The overall risk of death is 0.4 percent for every 1,000 abortions. This makes abortion 10 times safer than the process of actual labor.”
Partial birth abortion is also a major issue that concerns a lot of women, as an audience member pointed out. “There is no such thing,” Conrow said. She added that partial birth abortion is not even a medical term and that it is a (public relations) term created by the pro-choice movement.
Conrow said that many women tell her that they “aren’t like the other women getting abortions,” but she explained that there really isn’t “one type” of woman that chooses abortion.
“The number one misconception about abortion is that who you think are having them aren’t the people who really are,” she said. “The reality is that pregnancy does not discriminate.” Conrow revealed that her youngest patient was 11-years-old and that her oldest patient was 53.
According to Conrow, a “big, hot issue” is the parental notification of minors who want an abortion. “Thirty-four states require parental notification or consent and 33 of them have a loophole or some sort of judicial bypass in which minors can have an abortion without involving their parents,” she said.
Conrow also explained the specific surgical procedures as well as the non-surgical ones. She passed around the different sized tubes that are used in each of the procedures.
“I have to be brutally honest with what the procedures entail,” she said. “It’s a big deal and a real, real commitment.”
Conrow wrapped up the program by encouraging audience members to further their knowledge. “If any time you want to spend a day at the clinic and see what it is like for a patient, please contact me,” she said. “I have worked there for five years and I am a pro-choice advocate and seeing what a patient goes through really changed my perspective on the procedure and why it is meaningful.”
Further information about abortion can be obtained at cherryhillwomenscenter.com, prochoicenj.org and agi-usa.org.