Reproductive Rights at Wesleyan Now!
The overturning of Roe v. Wade illustrated the importance of abortion access and reproductive freedom as an equal justice issue. Although Wesleyan is located in a state which protects the right to abortion, the renewed focus on reproductive care has illustrated the ways in which the University could better provide accessible care to people with uteruses. We strongly believe that Wesleyan should adopt these policies to ensure all students are able to overcome financial burdens to and lack of transportation for abortion procedures.
- Free emergency contraceptives (Plan B and Ella) for students regardless of insurance plan
- Covered costs for off-campus abortions, INCLUDING safe transportation to and from the clinic regardless of insurance plan
- Assistance for those seeking care during summer breaks, winter breaks, and while abroad where possible (for example, counseling on options, on-campus housing, help with obtaining aftercare- pain relievers, counseling, etc)
- More widespread distribution of information about reproductive healthcare- e.g. flyers, accessibility on Davison’s website
By adopting such policies, Wesleyan could cement its status as an institution that values the wellbeing of its students, especially their reproductive rights and equality, by taking a more proactive stance against conservative attacks on reproductive justice.
This campaign is supported by a broad range of groups on campus. Here’s a list of our partners:
- The Doula Project
- The Student Health Committee
- Wesleyan Reproductive Advocacy and Legislation Club (WRAL)
- Adolescent Sexual Health Awareness (ASHA)
- International Student Advisory Board (ISAB)
- Spike Tape
- Sunrise Wesleyan
- USLAC (United Student Labor Action Coalition)
- Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA)
Manon Lefèvre, Visiting Instructor of Anthropology
María Ospina, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies
Joseph Russo, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Anu Sharma, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Amy Tang, Associate Professor of English and American Studies
Joseph Weiss, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Science in Society
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT:
Sign the petition!
Find us at Usdan information tables at lunch hour this week!
Come to our protests (dates tbd)
Follow our social media for campaign updates
Get involved with WRAL or The Doula Project
Who we are:
We are Wesleyan Democratic Socialists, the Wesleyan chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA). First and foremost, we believe in social, political, and economic equity. Especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights are under attack. Whether people have access to services like abortion depends, more than ever, on what state they live in and their socioeconomic background. Reproductive rights are an intersectional issue, often impacting already marginalized groups like FGLI students and students of color the most. Reproductive justice serves as an important framework for resisting white supremacist, colonialist, and capitalist forms of control.
From: [Your Name]
Demand for reproductive healthcare, including birth control and abortion care, absolutely exists on college campuses. In a 2018 study, researchers in the UC system estimated that around 300 to 500 students per month at public universities in California sought medicinal (pill-based) abortions. In 2014, patients aged 20-24 obtained 34% of all abortions, patients aged 18-19 obtained 8%. According to the same study, about 3 out of 4 abortion patients either fell below the poverty line or were low-income.
Though Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics are great resources in states like Connecticut that don’t restrict access, abortions can still be very costly. The average cost of a pill-based abortion at Planned Parenthood West Hartford is between $576 and $662, and in-clinic abortions (surgical) tend to cost between $600 and $1000, depending on what gestational period the patient is in. This isn’t affordable for many students (but should be affordable for a University with a 1.56 billion dollar endowment).
Many other colleges and universities offer more support for reproductive healthcare, including abortions, than Wesleyan. Starting next year, Barnard College will offer abortion pills on campus. In California, state law requires public universities to provide pill-based abortions on campus, and Massachusetts recently passed similar legislation. Since Roe V. Wade was overturned, the University has made few amendments to its reproductive healthcare policies and has not made many statements in support of reproductive rights (with the exception of individual offices like CAPS, WesWell, and The Resource Center). In fact, the Davison Health Center’s link for information on abortion and reproductive healthcare has not been updated since May 22, 2022.
How our demands are a continuation of current care:
We believe our demands are a logical and reasonable continuation of the current care provided by Wesleyan and of Wesleyan’s commitment toward the health and safety of its students. As Wesleyan already offers free birth control for students on the student health insurance plan, it is reasonable to demand that access to contraceptives. This would include copay coverage for all students who need it.
Having an unwanted pregnancy would affect every aspect of a student’s Wesleyan experience. The decision to terminate a pregnancy can be emotionally taxing, and having to worry about the logistics of accessing safe and affordable care creates an undue burden.
If Wesleyan truly is committed to the safety and well-being of its students, it should be committed to covering the costs of students’ abortions, including transportation costs. Many students may not have the ability to pay for such costs themselves, and taking an Uber to an abortion clinic isn’t always a safe option. There is no reason to complicate this process any further by withholding services that Wesleyan could undoubtedly afford to provide.
Lastly, the page on the Davison website about reproductive healthcare should be more readily accessible and updated frequently to include all of the most recent information. Students should not have to struggle to find information about the resources offered on campus.
Induced Abortion in the United States | Guttmacher Institute https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states
Why Abortion Is an Important Issue for Students | BestColleges
Access to Medication Abortion Among California's Public University Students - ScienceDirect https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X1830185X
The End of Roe Creates New Challenges in Higher Education | The Brookings Institution
Abortion Service in West Hartford, CT - Get the Pill, Facts & Cost | Planned Parenthood
Fiscal 2022 Year-End Report | Wesleyan University
Some Students Want Colleges to Provide the Abortion Pill. Schools Are Resisting - The New York Times
Barnard College Plans to Offer Abortion Pills on Campus - The New York Times
Think You are Pregnant? | Yale Health