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Poster burning attacked freedom of information

I would like to respond to The Tech's coverage of the recent Pro-Life poster burning and to Monnica Williams' letter ["Pro-Life poster burning hurts groups on both sides", Nov. 7].

Williams is absolutely correct in her basic points. The burning of the drop poster, aside from showing a stunning ignorance of safety concerns, was immature and irresponsible. And as Williams points out, the real issue at stake here is the free circulation of ideas and information.

While I do not agree with the ideas of MIT Pro-Life, I wholeheartedly support their right to express those ideas. I also support the methods they chose to use during Abortion Awareness Week -- publicity and education. The public has a right to all information on both sides of the abortion (or any other) debate. For the same reasons I am against penalizing physicians and clinics for distributing information on birth control and abortion, I am against the suppression of "pro-life" literature.

However, Williams should give some consideration to her sweeping accusations against the pro-choice community. She repeatedly emphasizes that "our awareness week was the focus of a great deal of antagonism. Many members of the pro-choice community vandalized, mutilated, and tore down our event posters ... is this appropriate behavior of a group that claims to defend the rights of others?" She also makes reference to the "malevolent actions of the pro-choicers."

Frankly, as far as I know, no one has any idea who committed these "malevolent actions," although I agree that it is likely the individuals considered themselves pro-choice. But is Williams really ready to use the actions of a few individuals to slander "many" of those "pro-choicers?" Such a generalization is hardly justified.

As for The Tech's coverage of the event, the word "sensationalist" comes to mind. Take the headline, "Abortion debate escalates," [Nov. 7] or the opening line, "Tensions are escalating on the abortion issue...." Escalating? Tensions? Did somebody move me to the middle of a war zone when I wasn't looking? Despite false rumors of a co-sponsored forum on abortion, the function of the Association for Women Students is not to be the group that fights with MIT Pro-Life. Abortion is only one of the many issues we deal with, and our events were planned months ago, independently from anything Pro-Life later organized. While it is true that both groups were working on projects simultaneously to educate the community of our respective views, the last time I checked, that wasn't criteria for battle! If The Tech wants to cover abortion activism on campus, it should give both groups equal coverage and stop creating "tensions" which don't exist.

Michelle Bush '91->


MIT Association->

for Women Students->