Campus Club Takes Action over Abortion Restrictions


Ava Charlesworth, Staff Writer

Women’s Awareness on Campus (WAC) devoted 2 weeks to spreading information, and encouraging action in response to the abortion bans that were instituted in numerous states during the month of May.

“It was a great success,” said next year’s club co-president junior Isabelle Restrepo. “People are upset and will post things on Instagram but it was encouraging to see how many people were really willing to actually do something about it.”

At lunch on May 22, the club passed out pamphlets which contained information regarding the series of recent bans and restrictions to abortion access.

The 2nd page of the pamphlet defined abortion as well as outlined the new abortion laws that passed in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi, Utah, and Arkansas, as well as the pending laws that may pass in Texas, Louisiana, New York, and Minnesota. A description of California’s current laws on abortion and abortion access were also outlined.

The 3rd page cited President Donald Trump’s views on abortion. Information on how to get involved in fighting the new laws was also provided, encouraging students to join and attend WAC meetings (every other Wednesday at lunch in D7), donate to organizations that offer support to women or who are filing suit against the new laws, write letters to governors or Senate members, and most importantly, to vote.

“Honestly, the majority of what I knew about the bans came from social media,” said junior Alexa Pritchard. “The pamphlets really laid out the facts which was really helpful.”

Current WAC president and senior Lindsay Torres, along with fellow WAC members including next year’s presidents Restrepo and Vaughn Luthringer, passed out the pamphlets along with Oreo cookies. WAC members as well as additional students wrote letters to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, the woman who signed the most restrictive abortion ban in the history of the United States into law. WAC leaders encouraged students to be respectful in their letters and to avoid curse words or profanities. Over 30 letters were sent by students.

On May 24, WAC held an additional meeting to further discuss and explain in detail the information provided in the pamphlets, along with news and updates about the laws around the country. A map of the states where restricted abortion access laws have been passed or are in the process of going to the floor was shown, but the meeting was mainly discussion based.

“A lot of freshmen showed up who never really knew about WAC before, but the letter writing in the quad got their attention and they were drawn to take action, but that was really cool,” said Torres.

“A big thing that was discussed was like: Can you really call yourself a feminist if support this legislation? And we decided that no, you can’t. Being pro-life for yourself and your own body is one thing but at the end of the day if you aren’t supporting a women’s right to chose what happens to her own body, whether it’s carrying out pregnancy or terminating one, you aren’t pro-woman,” added Torres.

The following Wednesday WAC hosted their final meeting of the year where the issues were further discussed and more letters were written.