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Students advocate for reproductive rights

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Jocelyn Arceo
Editor in Chief 

The push for legislation that limits the reproductive rights of women has not faltered, but five honors students created a senior project highlighting ways people can show their support for women’s access to birth control.

Cynthia Corona, business administration major; Mariah Cervantes, criminology major; Amber Miller, educational studies major; Alexis Figueroa, political science major; and James Yan, economics major, came together to create an informational poster on how to contact your representative, how to advocate for reproductive rights and provided facts regarding legislative measures today. 

“We’re in 2019, you would think that women’s rights are protected, but they’re attacking our rights in more discrete ways and they’re trying to phrase it as an argument to protect religious liberties,” Corona said. “When that’s not what this is about, this is about infringing on women’s reproductive rights.”

In 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration issued a ruling that would allow for employers to opt out of providing women with birth control at no cost, that is, the insurance would cover the cost. 

Although the ruling now has a nationwide hold, there still remains the possibility of the hold being lifted. 

“Birth control is more than just contraceptives, it’s about reproductive health,” Corona said. “We want our representatives to know that we care about this issue and that we don’t want this to happen, and we want to spread information on how we could all help.”

Alongside the information regarding which measures and rulings are in place, there was a sample letter that can be sent to representatives as a way to ask them to vote no on any attempt to limit a woman’s access to reproductive health care. 

“Having the sample letter out and asking people to contact their representatives will really make a difference, even if it is only just five people,” Cervantes said. “That’s what our point is, to advocate the five different ways that all of us can make a difference.”

In addition to the sample letter, five different ways for allies to advocate for women’s reproductive rights were also listed. 

These include showing up to events, rallies or protests in support of reproductive rights, donating to non-profit organizations that advocate for reproductive rights, spreading knowledge and awareness to those around you, connecting with your legislators and offering your own individual talents to the cause. 

“The best outcome I could expect from this is to just hope that people can advocate for women’s rights in any way that’s possible,” Figueroa said. “Just by informing people, getting them educated on these topics and showing them ways they could get in contact with their representatives, as well as ways they can get more involved with their community.”

The students expressed that when it comes to reproductive rights, anyone can be an ally through active advocacy.

Jocelyn Arceo can be reached at jocelyn.arceo@laverne.edu.

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