Reproductive health care should be more available to SU students

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The New Texas Abortion law made history last month as one of the most restrictive measures taken in the United States to limit access to abortion in decades. The new law does not exceptions for cases of rape or incest, while limiting terminations of pregnancies related to health problems. Many people are wondering what the ramifications of this enactment will be and what it will mean for people in the US, including at Syracuse University.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionwomen in their 20s accounted for 57.7% of abortions in 2018, making safe access to abortion relevant to college students.

Although Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced a plan to protect and affirm reproductive rights in New York State, SU campus students should have access to reproductive health care services, especially after a law actively hinders reproductive rights.

SU freshman Natalie Robinson is from Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp signed a law in 2019 by banning abortions after detecting a heartbeat. This regulation caused the fear of Robinson and others.

“One of the reasons I chose to come to Syracuse was the ongoing regulation of reproductive rights in Georgia,” Robinson said. “I thought if something bad happened, I wouldn’t have a choice. If something tragic happened, like a rape, she would have had nowhere to go. I would have had to go through that.”

College students seek the resources they need to make informed and safe decisions about their reproductive health. This amplifies the need not only for safe access to abortion for students, but also for other reproductive health resources. Access to birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, screening, resources for transgender and gender non-conforming students, and other additional health services should be more widely available to students at UB and across the country.

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The Barnes Center at The Arch is SU’s central health and wellness center. It is the premier place for SU students to receive health treatment, referrals, prescriptions, and mental health resources.

according to their website, The Barnes Center at The Arch offers multiple services geared toward reproductive health care, including contraceptive management, pregnancy counseling, pregnancy testing, preventive counseling, gender-affirming care, and sexual and reproductive health screenings.

Although these services are useful, some students question their accessibility and feel that they are not advertised enough. “I haven’t heard anything about finding OB/GYN or reproductive health services on campus. Those are resources I would like to see advertised. Let us know it’s available. Please let us know where to find them, if they are there,” Robinson said.

Alexandra Grypinich, a junior, also questions the availability of these important resources: “I really don’t know much about women’s health on campus. As a junior, I probably should have heard more by now,” she said.

It is important that the rhetoric about reproductive health becomes less allusive and more open and positive. One way to achieve this is through advertising. Grypinich suggested a marketing tactic similar to the sexual health supply ordering system known as safer sex express initiative provided by the Barnes Center.

Aside from the resources not shown, the services listed by Barnes Center are not compared to clinics surrounding SU. clinics like the Family planning in Syracuse cover additional ground, providing menstrual support, urinary tract infection testing and treatment, pap smears, fibroid screening, breast exams, colposcopy, and routine physicals for people 21 and older. These resources are also made extremely transparent through their website.

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It is also essential to cover the full range of people affected by reproductive health problems. Rebecca Lambert, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at SU, shared the importance of extending a conversation that predominantly stays central to women and their needs.

“Many times in the discussion of what is included in women’s health care, certain populations are forgotten, such as transgender students, gender non-conforming students and non-binary students. There are a lot of different needs that have become what is included under the umbrella of what is being talked about,” Lambert said.

Having comprehensive reproductive services available and accessible to all students can have a profound impact on a student’s well-being. You can also have a positive impact on the SU community.

“(Accessible reproductive health care) allows them to focus on their education. Having the services available to help them when needed will allow them to continue doing things like going to class and getting on with homework. It helps keep health care from becoming a barrier,” Lambert said.

Reproductive health care on college campuses includes a wide range of services and resources that are vital to the daily lives of students. Students deserve to have their needs met thoroughly and without judgment from the community. SU must be diligent about transparent representation of reproductive health resources. The university should highlight its existing services to end ongoing stigma and create positive connotations around the reproductive health conversation.

Expanding the reproductive health services available to support the diverse needs of each student will have a significant impact. By creating a narrative that focuses on inclusion, empowerment, and education, promoting accessible reproductive health care services will allow students to make the most of their time on campus, without worrying about accessing these services. .

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Cara Steves is a freshman magazine and digital news journalism student. His column appears biweekly. She can be contacted at [email protected].