News from IAW North America

Denisonians for Planned Parenthood

Reproductive rights are under attack in Ohio and the United States as a whole. Last summer, in a devastating Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the right to an abortion was compromised all over the U.S. Fifteen states have banned abortion in the U.S., and only a handful of these have exceptions in place for cases of rape or incest. There is a petition in Ohio right now to add an amendment to the state constitution on the November ballot. If passed, this amendment would guarantee individuals the right to make and carry out their own reproductive decisions, and we are pleased to announce that the petition has gathered enough signatures in order for the proposed amendment to make it onto the ballot. This is a significant step in a state where reproductive rights are hotly contested in our government.

I am a student at Denison University in Granville, OH. On campus, I am an executive board member of Denisonians for Planned Parenthood, our campus reproductive rights organization. As a sophomore, I was the club co-secretary, and as a junior, I am the current treasurer. Our club is one of the largest on campus, and we organize many events throughout the year to engage our club members in reproductive rights advocacy and education through an intersectional lens. 

Abigail Abby Hasselbrink
Abigail Abby Hasselbrink

Our club aims to combat these attacks against reproductive rights through education and activism. For example, we attended a protest at the Ohio Statehouse. We also hosted several speakers virtually for panels. One panel was titled “Abortion in America: During, Before, and After Roe,” and it was hosted in conjunction with our college’s Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement. Our panelists included Dr. Christine Henneberg (a practicing abortion provider and writer), Professor Mary Ziegler (a legal scholar and past professor at UC Davis and Harvard Law School), and Professor Jennifer Holland (a historian and associate professor of history at the University of Oklahoma). Another panel we hosted was called “Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice in Post-Dobbs Ohio.” During this panel, we interviewed Jessie Hill (Dean of Research and professor of law at Case Western University), Alana Jochum (executive director of Equality Ohio), and Michele E. Storms (executive director of ACLU Washington). Finally, we hosted a panel on the intersections of race and reproductive justice with Dr. Khiara Bridges, professor of law at UC Berkeley. Other events that we host include Reproductive Health and Justice Trivia, movie screenings, Cookies and Consent (an educational event during which we teach students about consent using cookies), and sex education information sessions.

I have loved sharing my passion for reproductive justice as a part of this club, and it has inspired me to continue to fight for women’s rights. With our work, we hope to engage our community in the conversation about reproductive rights. We hope to create a more informed campus regarding health and advocacy. Finally, we hope to support the Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio branch in their fight for justice. I hope that students at other universities in the United States will establish reproductive rights organizations on their campuses. We are the change we need in the world, and it is our job to create the future we deserve. I also hope that students at other colleges will attend protests and sign petitions supporting intersectional reproductive justice in their communities.

Abby Hasselbrink
IAW Representative at UN Headquarters
Intern on the Cities for CEDAW History and Futures Project

Editor's note:
Abby will be giving us some information about cities for CEDAW soon. So please stay tuned!


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