To the Editors of The Crimson:
Each time our term-bills arrive, we are newly discouraged by the high expense of our education. The increasing cost of an education--which seems to us not an economic right alone--is an immoral spiral. "Immoral" is an appropriate word to describe some of Harvard's expenditures which add to our monthly nightmare.
We are not talking about Harvard's investments under the illegitimate South African regime. Harvard rationalizes these investments saying they in no way encourage apartheid. Instead, the monies increase the representation of our outlook on apartheid. They allege that the U.S. firms provide jobs and opportunities for Blacks. And a fire sale of assets would only benefit the white establishment anyway. So the administration claims its investments in no way buttress the apartheid system which most Americans find depraved and repugnant. Harvard cannot claim that about the spending which we wish to address.
We are writing to decry the University's unconscionable siphoning of funds to perform abortions. University Health Services provides abortion on demand to Harvard students. This expense of $275 per abortion or a lesser charge for the far more frequent "morning after" abortions is a sizeable item in our school's budget. Unlike the South African investments, the University cannot claim that its funds have no direct influence on this reprehensible practice or that the immediate withdrawal of its funds would not discourage abortions.
We are aware that many students, such as the Harvard-Radcliffe Students for Choice, do not share our views on the immorality of abortion. For the past several weeks this group has been hanging a poster which enumerates the costs of abortion. We find it appalling that they would attempt to place a dollar value on the entire cost of abortion in our modern society. The Students for Choice, shirking off responsibility to any moral code higher than the individual's convenience, choose to show only the financial costs of abortion and then only the costs incurred by the individual.
What about the physical, emotional and psychological expense of abortion? Studies show over 90 percent of women who undergo abortions are left with some type of permanent scars. And what about the effects of abortion on society? Doesn't it threaten to desensitize and sterilize our culture? Unfortunately, at Harvard, the question of who pays the price of abortion is even more direct. The answer is--we all do.
Our term-bills are indiscriminately garnished without regard for our sensibilities. We pay for peer counselors to tell us about abortion, we pay doctors and nurses to recommend abortion, and finally we pay the bill when Harvard's children are snuffed out. It is abhorrent that we are forcibly compelled to make these payments and then burdened with the responsibility of requesting a refund.
The University is obviously uncomfortable with its role in providing abortions. UHS only refers students to clinics; no actual abortions are performed. Instead, the University attempts to shift the venue and the accountability--in an effort to avoid the shame of operating such a sleazy enterprise--by sending the women of Harvard to subtle suburban abortion dens But the blame for these acts cannot be transferred because the students are going to UHS for help and instead they are being referred to modern-day butchers who practice our contemporary genocide.
We are repeatedly struck by the primitive lack of concern which we show for the unborn. We ask how can our community condone the snuffing out of the brilliant children of Harvard? For the sake of an attractive figure, a reputation, and an "A" in Psych, a small piece of humanity is being discarded from a world that needs bright minds more than ever before. Wake up, Harvard, or the students of the next century will regard you as a once great university that preached its lofty ideas to the world but didn't notice the suffering in its own bosom. Kenneth D. DeGiorgio '93 E. Adam Webb '93 Co-founders, AALARM