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BYU Professor, "I don't know the morals here" When Speaking on Abortion

A BYU professor in a women’s health class was recorded discussing abortion as if it was not a moral issue in an audio released by CWIC media. She said that when a woman has not taken a pregnancy test when she could be pregnant and is planning on taking a plan C pill she does not “know the morals here.”

The discussion for this portion of the class was initiated by a sticker that she saw during a walk that said “need to be unpregnant?” A slide from the class was obtained by CWIC media that says “interspace in pregnancy? IDK.”


During the presentation, the professor then questions this “interspace” in pregnancy, defining the time between conception and a positive pregnancy test, wondering whether or not she has a clear opinion:

"So is there an interspace in pregnancy? like this article that I was diving in to say . . . If she had unprotected intercourse before she takes a positive pregnancy test. There's a pill she can take to just ensure. Like in this interspace like I don’t want to take a pregnancy test and I kind of don't want to know if I actually conceived. This pill will just take care of it if I did, and if I didn't. So this NPR podcast live episode. It's called ‘a little bit pregnant.’ I don't know. I'm learning, I haven’t done enough research to actually have an opinion. And I don’t know that I necessarily will or won't have an opinion. I just want to read and listen to what is being discussed in this."(sic)

During the class discussion, the professor is considering whether or not it is even considered an abortion if the woman is not certain that she is pregnant, but knows that it is a possibility. If a woman takes a plan C pill, which is another term for a chemical abortion pill, when she is not certain that she is pregnant, but just in case she is pregnant, the professor is not sure that this is abortion or if it is immoral.

The professor admits that she is open to reading and learning more and that she may never develop an opinion of the topic, but that “it feels like a dichotomous situation, like if you are pregnant, or you aren’t pregnant. Black and white, yes or no? But in this, like, a little bit.” She states that as a result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the jurisdiction that states now have to determine when, if and how abortion is allowed, this “interspace” might start to become more common and more people are going to be “a little bit” pregnant. She considers that pregnancy may be in a “gray area” in situations where a person does not want to be pregnant and is not certain that she has conceived.

When she opened up the class for students to comment, one student reiterated the points that the professor had already made, and shared that she “doesn’t have an answer at all” to the question of whether or not it is moral to take an abortion pill before a woman knows that she is pregnant.

At one point in this discussion that took place earlier in the semester, the professor mentions she had been reading about this topic in the context of the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Instead of listening to the conference she says she was preoccupied with the topic saying, “it's been on my mind and I'm like ‘push it aside, General Conference! like make meals for your family.’ And I'm like, obsessively reading on my phone like ‘a little bit pregnant.’ I was like ‘oh, are you really listening to General Conference?’”

In a previous general conference, President Nelson gave a talk titled “Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless” in which he says on the topic, “Man-made rules have now legalized that which has been forbidden by God from the dawn of time! Human reasoning has twisted and transformed absolute truth into sound-bite slogans that promote a practice that is consummately wrong.” This is in line with the general doctrine regarding abortion in the Church, in which the stance is that abortion is sinful except in extreme and rare circumstances, and anyone who participates in the performing or encouragement of an abortion could “lose their membership in the church.”

CWIC Media and BYU have been contacted and this article will be updated as needed.

Reagan Sumrall: Reporter at the Cougar Chronicle

The Cougar Chronicle is an independent student-run newspaper and is not affiliated with Brigham Young University or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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