know about Our Bodies, Their Laws: Campus and Local Organizations Unite for Reproductive Rights Event
On Saturday, representatives from reproductive health and justice organizations from across the Cornell campus and beyond gathered in the Arts Quad for the kickoff of Our bodies, their laws — a series of events aimed at fostering engagement and education on reproductive rights.
Organizations presenting at the event included the Cornell chapter of Family planning generation actionThe Department of Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, End the stigma of abortion, defense center, Gender Justice Advocacy Coalition, Cornell Health and the Women’s Resource Center. The event also featured a tent where attendees could vent their frustrations regarding the current state of reproductive rights. Tables distributed snacks, informational brochures and free condoms to attendees.
Following the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson in June 2022, which overturned the federal right to abortion established by Roe vs. Wadevarious faculty and staff members began planning the series of events, with a focus on engaging the Cornell community in a conversation about reproductive rights.
“We just want people to be able to have a more comprehensive and contextualized conversation than is usually possible given the way abortion is talked about,” said Professor Jess Marie Newman, a feminist, gender and sexuality studies major. event organizers. .
PPGA co-chair Rachel Jacob ’23 echoed Newman’s desire to perform after the events of the summer.
“It’s sad that something so bad had to happen for so many people to care,” Jacob said. “But it’s good to see a lot of people come out and be motivated and willing to raise awareness and help.”
At the FGSS table, Fabiola Faroh ’25, a minor from the FGSS and a student intern in the department, answered the students’ questions about the offer of careers, careers and courses. She said the event was important in informing students about gender equality academic opportunities available on campus and educating Cornelians about the current state of reproductive justice in the United States.
The consensus among event organizers and participants was the goal of educating Cornelia residents about reproductive health resources available on and off campus. Shura Gat, interim associate dean of students and director of the Women’s Resource Center, emphasized that the Center provides resources for physical and emotional wellness.
“The general idea of being a resource center is that we have physical resources, such as free menstruation products, free sustainable menstruation products, free pregnancy tests, free safer sex products, as well as intangible resources such as relevant programs and opportunities for community and connection around gender justice,” said Gat.
Cornell Health also offers reproductive health resources, including reversible forms of contraception, sexual health nurses and emergency contraception, said Rachel Clark, clinical director of women’s and sexual health at Cornell Health. Cornell Health also partners with Planned Parenthood to provide students with abortion services.
Damien Osborne ’22, who serves as PPGA treasurer, emphasized the importance of campus resources for students from states with limited reproductive health services. Gat echoed this sentiment.
“We know that depending on the state students live in, that [current events] it could affect them very personally, whether it be their families or their own bodies,” Gat said.
Event attendee Hope Cross-Jaya ’25 said she enjoyed talking with representatives from different organizations and learning about available resources.
“There are a lot of opportunities for people to get involved and understand their bodies and understand their rights,” Cross-Jaya said. “We need these resources to strengthen each other, and I think having that sense of community is very important right now, right now, but also at this University.”