Dear Dr. Sullivan; Mr. Martin; and Mr. Goodwin, Jr:
My name is Sean Aminali, and I attend Tabb High School in Yorktown, Virginia. I have a weighted GPA of 4.7619, ranking me first in my class, and I recently earned a composite score of 2310 (Critical Reading: 790, Mathematics: 720, Writing: 800) on my SAT. Throughout most of my young life, I have aspired to attend Mr. Jefferson’s University of Virginia. Recently, those plans came to an abrupt end with my discovery of some disturbing revelations about UVA. Had I been 17 years old and busy with college applications in the year 1854, I hope that I would have had both the requisite knowledge and the active conscience to refuse to attend UVA due to its wanton participation in the trading and holding of human slaves. Similarly, I refuse now to even apply to UVA in the year 2014 since being made aware of the university’s policy of imposing a violent death penalty on the most innocent and defenseless members of our human family. I was shocked to discover online recently that over 2,700 young lives from my own generation have been violently aborted inside UVA Hospital as a matter of routine. These were my own classmates and potential friends that are now missing, having been beheaded or otherwise dismembered instead. This merciless denial of human rights is not something that any institution of higher learning should be involved with, least of all a public university supported with taxpayer money. I understand that elective abortion is legal. So was slavery. I will not be applying to Virginia Commonwealth University or the University of North Carolina either. Like UVA, these are also colleges that kill. And they are also colleges that reject and defy the human rights accords agreed to at Nuremberg, Helsinki, and Geneva. I believe in a consistent whole life ethic, as well as the worthy tradition of “do no harm.”
I apply my belief in nonviolence to all institutions which perpetuate aggression. For example, I oppose all forms of stem cell research which destroy human life, including embryos and fetuses. I do not support capital punishment, believing that the state does not have the right to kill. I also believe that individuals seeking euthanasia or assisted suicide are in need of love and compassion, not violent solutions. Lastly, I recognize the inherent evils of animal cruelty.
Furthermore, I fear the implications of normalized abortion. Already, abortions which are race and sex-selective have become a reality in this country. What is the next step in this destructive cycle? As somebody who believes that gay people are born gay, I fear that the isolation of the genetic marker for homosexuality will result in abortions targeting gay children in the womb. If it is wrong to end a child’s life based on variables they are born with, then why should it be permissible to end a child’s life based on the fact that they are “inconvenient”?
I am grateful to the UVA alumni and other members of the Human Rights and Scientific Honesty Initiative for the documents they have produced that I discovered online. Without them, I would likely have been blind to this ongoing violence until after I was already a student financing it. Throughout history, human rights have been vanquished to the applause of the powerful. Elective abortion is just another recent example. I may not be able to do much as one young person, but I can take a stand and make this decision not to finance it where and when I can. If not me, who? If not now, when? A university that kills has no honor. Sincerely,
Photo credit: Phil Roeder, Flickr Creative Commons