After 33 years, Roe v. Wade still controversial among students

Fifteen people gathered in the Women’s Center last Tuesday to sing happy birthday to a landmark Supreme Court decision.

The College’s chapter of Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) hosted a ’70s-themed disco party to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

“VOX celebrates this anniversary as a landmark in the women’s rights movement, hoping that our society will someday recognize women as equals,” Kathy Loglisci, junior secondary education/English major and president of VOX, said.

The ruling, a subject of heated political debate ever since, legalized abortion in the United States.

“VOX is concerned that this year’s anniversary of choice may be our last,” Loglisci said.

Pro-choice advocates have become increasingly concerned about the status of Roe v. Wade since the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court on Jan. 31, where Alito filled the spot Justice Sandra Day O’Connor previously held.

Alito has a conservative judicial record and wrote in 1985 that “the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion.”

He has also been noted for his dissenting vote in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, where he voted in favor of requiring women to notify their husbands before having an abortion.

“The pro-choice community fears that the women’s movement has backslid with the legislated chipping away at Roe, and most recently, with the Supreme Court confirmation of anti-choice Judge Samuel Alito,” Loglisci said.

VOX is an organization dedicated to educating the campus community about the services Planned Parenthood provides and promoting safe sex through programming, service and political activism. This week, the group plans to sell and deliver condom-grams for Valentine’s Day/National Condom Week and provide support for “The Vagina Monologues.”

Jen Braverman, sophomore art education major, VOX publicist and president of Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL) said she got involved during last year’s V-Day campaign.

“I was definitely always pro-choice,” Braverman said.

Loglisci said that she has not found it difficult to get students at the College involved.

Still, of the 15 people who attended the event, half were VOX members and one was the president of Rider University’s VOX chapter.

Not all attendees were present to celebrate, though.

Grace Nuzzi, junior psychology major and member of the College’s pro-life group, TCNJ Lifesavers, said she attended the event in silent protest.

“My main reason for attending this event was to let (College) students know that there is another side that is very much opposed to abortion and proud to stand up for those who can not speak on their own,” Nuzzi said.

Nuzzi wore a hand-painted T-shirt which read, “Today Planned Parenthood celebrates its inability to teach America how to plan for parenthood, and VOX amplifies the dead silence of all those who were never allowed to speak. Abortion is not the answer.”

Loglisci said she commends Nuzzi for expressing her beliefs, but that her shirt, while well worded, was inaccurate. Planned Parenthood, Loglisci said, provides services that include reproductive health screenings, safe sex counseling, gynecological care and abortion and adoption referrals. It advocates the use of contraception and sex education as a form of birth control.

“VOX does not promote abortion, but rather believes that the decision of whether or not to legally have one belongs to the woman up until a certain state of pregnancy, unless her life is in danger,” Loglisci said. “VOX does not attempt to silence anyone with a voice.”

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