- - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I am Catholic, I am conservative, I am an American, I am a woman, I am a millennial, I am a law student and I am proud.

I am not afraid to voice my opinions and refuse to be stifled by the unwillingness of others to accept views, beliefs or behaviors different from their own.

My ancestors immigrated from Italy and Hungary in the 1900s to chase the “American Dream.”

They left their homes and moved across land and sea to experience the unparalleled freedoms of the United States of America, a country where every citizen is guaranteed the right to free speech and freedom of religion.

But less than a hundred years later, to my ancestors’ dismay, I am busy defending my freedoms from leftist attacks after writing a column regarding a very relevant issue in today’s society: abortion in the black community.

After an abundance of the usual leftist bullying and the receipt of a threat, I went to my law school administrators to express concern about my safety.

I expected to be treated with respect and to have my safety concern taken seriously and addressed efficiently.

However, instead of practicing tolerance for my views and simply looking into my concern, the administrators lectured me on how my faith-based beliefs about abortion in my writing might harm my legal career or my ability to work as a staff editor on the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

They picked apart my article line by line, as I sat there visibly upset and in disbelief.

One administrator in the meeting even went as far as to say that she believed my article looked like a direct attack on “Black Lives Matter,” a movement that was not even mentioned or in anyway referred to in the column, and that the column was very flawed from a legal as well as a journalistic perspective.

Rather than practicing acceptance, they added to the bullying against conservatives that has been witnessed across campuses nationwide, including my own.

In addition to negative feedback from administrators, there were a large number of childish, distasteful and erroneous attacks from other students, which I refused and will continue to refuse to dignify with responses.

It is clear that the left has tried to bully me into silence, but I will not back down on this issue.

Not only is the issue relevant, but this is also an issue that I personally care about.

Having black relatives and friends, I am very much interested in issues that affect the black community.

That’s right.

I care about black women and believe too many black women are having abortions, not because they want to utilize their right to choose, but because they feel like they have no other option, feel that they will not have the support necessary to raise their child, or because they feel forced.

Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, from the popular girl group TLC, discussed her abortion regrets in 2010 saying, “I didn’t have the support, I was so scared and I didn’t know what to do and chose to not have it. One of the biggest mistakes…I cried almost everyday for almost nine years.”

I think that more should be done in communities across America to support pregnant black women, pregnant black women who, like Chili, could’ve received support and chosen to mother their child, rather than have an abortion and possibly experience a lifetime of regret.

Furthermore, it should be noted that what I discussed in my column is something that has been echoed by leaders across the world, including Pope Francis who recently reaffirmed abortion is the taking of human life that constitutes sin, as well as influential black leaders like former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.

I don’t mind that administrators disagreed with my religious beliefs, but I should not have been criticized or have my ability to function as a staff editor on the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law at a taxpayer-funded university tampered with in the name of political correctness and religious intolerance.

In fact, my opinions expressed in the Washington Times column should never have been a matter of critique for my Ohio State law school administrators.

Students of all faiths and political affiliations should be able to reach their full potential in a positive learning environment free of bullying and attack.

Even as a second year law student I know that my views discussed in my column were expressions of my faith and my free speech guaranteed to me under the First Amendment.

I hope that my story is shared and inspires millennial conservatives on campuses nationwide to stand up for what they believe in and to stop letting bullies silence their views and infringe upon their rights.

Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. The author’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

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