Reproductive Rights Bill Passes

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Clark students will soon have access to condoms and emergency Plan B contraception at no extra cost, thanks to work done by NARAL and other student groups, including OPEN and Choices.

When the Reproductive Bill of Rights was re-launched last semester, the online petition collected more than 500 signatures in 48 hours, and continued gathering support throughout the semester. The bill calls for the administration to “provide its students with access to very basic sexual health resources.” In October, President Angel told NARAL, OPEN, and Choices that he wanted to “find a way to get to ‘yes.’”Plan_b_one_step

Less than four months later, he has finally found his way there.

Beginning this month, Plan B contraception will be available, free of charge, at Health Services by same-day appointment. Beginning in the 2016-17 academic year, condoms will be available in the residence halls at no charge .

In an email to all the students, faculty, and staff, President Angel wrote, “Over the past six months, Clark NARAL, along with other student groups such as OPEN and Choices, have been working collaboratively with the University administration to enhance access to sexual health resources and more generally promote health and wellness.”

As well as providing free contraception to all students, the University is continuing to seek ways to prevent sexual violence. Clark’s policies and procedures regarding sexual offences have now been consolidated into a single website.

Juliana Gluck (‘17), member of the Choices E-Board, told The Scarlet, “We as the Choices E-Board speak for ourselves and the club when we say we are so happy that the Reproductive Bill of Rights was approved. We congratulate NARAL and President Angel on their efforts to support sexual health and education on campus.”

OPEN was equally as thrilled at the passage of the Reproductive Bill of Rights. The E-Board said, “The rewriting of Clark policies to include gender-inclusive language is also fantastic, and OPEN looks forward to continuing efforts to provide easily-accessible gender-inclusive bathrooms throughout campus.” They are now looking forward to focusing on the issues facing of trans and non-binary students, “whose voices are too often neglected in conversations around making Clark a safe and welcoming place for all.”

In the coming months, President Angel will also be announcing initiatives that will extend to current anti-violence and consent education programming for students.

NARAL has been working on the Bill of Rights since last year. They told The Scarlet, “This victory for student health and well-being is a result of the hard work and participation of countless members of the Clark community and showcases the power of student advocacy and activism! We look forward to seeing these changes actualized on campus in the coming semesters, and will continue to work on pursuing reproductive justice in our communities.”