The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Letters to the Editor

Abortion information incomplete

It has recently come to my attention that a student organization on NMU’s campus hosted an event in which speakers from Operation Outcry came to tell Northern’s students about their unfortunate experiences related to their past abortions. Although I do not doubt that these women each faced distress after their individual experiences, it is important to note that they do not speak for all women who have had abortions. They each spoke of how abortion virtually always leads to depression, thoughts of suicide, extreme grief, later miscarriages, sexual dysfunction, child abuse of future children and an increased risk of breast cancer.

I have much respect for these women and the courage they have to speak about their experiences. However, it irritates me when the public is misinformed, especially in dealing with such a taboo subject when it is often easier to believe in and/or support something based on emotions rather than facts.

The truth is, the medical community has repeatedly researched these issues and has found that although some women have negative experiences, most women do not regret their choice.

Story continues below advertisement

In fact, immediately after, as well as years after an abortion, the most commonly reported feeling is that of relief.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “the best scientific evidence indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy.” The APA states that they have found no evidence whatsoever to support the claim that negative psychological responses were caused by an abortion itself, but were most likely due to a number of things including prior mental health, self esteem, low social support and the extent to which the woman wanted the abortion in the first place.

It is understandable that if a woman was coerced or pressured to have an abortion that she would feel negatively about it afterward, but that is not the case when the woman wanted the abortion. According to the American Psychological Association, fewer than one percent of abortions are coerced. The APA found that the No. 1 indicator for post-abortion distress was prior mental health issues.

Furthermore, all APA evidence has shown that these indicators are not unique to abortion, they also include other stressful live events, including childbirth.

As for the claim about breast cancer, the National Cancer Institute has found that there is no evidence at all that abortion is linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Five years after the claims about the link between abortion and breast cancer were founded to have no basis in good scientific research, people still continue to promote this erroneous information. The American Cancer Society has stated that, “as of 2008, the scientific evidence does not support the notion that induced abortion raises the risk of breast cancer.”

Unfortunately, Operation Outcry’s Web site offers links to other sites that promote the false belief that abortion leads to breast cancer.

The claim that abortion causes later miscarriages is also false. Many studies have been done, including research published by The New England Journal of Medicine and The American Journal of Epidemiology, in which they have found no evidence that an abortion will subsequently increase the likelihood of a future miscarriage.

The bottom line is, when a woman is faced with an unwanted pregnancy, she must make her own decision based on her faith, her personal morals, her ability to care for an infant, her other family responsibilities, her own personal income and her mental health status. She needs accurate information about her options rather than threats, scare tactics and misleading information.

Lyndsay Mercier

senior, psychology

President of Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood

Dr. Mary Pelton-Cooper NMU Professor of Psychology

Hunting not an

unethical practice

After reading Josh Snyder’s Dec. 4, 2008 column on the ethics of hunting, I applaud him for his stance, but question his knowledge of the subject.

According to my copy of the Random House Dictionary “ethics” is described as: “the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.” Or, ethical: “in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, esp. the standards of a profession.”

In other words, he cannot say what we hunters are doing is unethical as long as we hunt in accordance with the rules and ethics set down through years of tradition and governed by laws that are based on those traditions.

He obviously has never seen an animal brought down by a predator such as a wolf, coyote or bear, and watched as the predator proceeded to consume the animal as it lay there still alive and screaming, nor has he gone out to look at the carcasses left after a severe winter kill, food that will be eaten by scavengers will not go to waste. Those animals died in pain and agony.

Ethical hunters attempt to kill their prey with a single humane shot, and while not always successful, the ethical hunter follows up and ends the animal’s suffering as soon as possible.

My recommendation to Josh is that he be open minded enough to take a Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety class, and a few of the biology classes offered at NMU to learn more about the wildlife we share the environment with and our role as hunters in preserving that wildlife for all to enjoy.

Without the fees received from hunting licenses and stamps, most wildlife will disappear, as non-hunters are notorious for not helping to pay for the habitat projects needed to preserve them. He will also learn that hunters were the first to demand restricted hunting seasons, laws and licenses to regulate hunting.

The next time you go to the store, look in the meat department and see if you can find wild duck, ruffed grouse, moose, bear, muskrat, beaver, opossum, squirrel or any of the wild game we hunters pursue, which is much healthier than farmed meat as it has no chemical additives to enhance its growth and profitability.

Yes, I prefer to eat meat that I have taken in fair chase and butchered on my kitchen table.

Pat Parsley
Marquette, MI

More to Discover