Students Talk Trump-Era Reproductive Rights

Planned Parenthood’s chapter of the Claremont Colleges, “Ignite at Scripps,” and the Laspa Center for Leadership at Scripps College hosted “Healthcare: What’s Next After the Election” in Vita Nova Lecture Hall at Scripps on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Scripps professor of public policy Vanessa Tyson and Los Angeles Planned Parenthood representative Ariana Bentz held “a panel discussion and answered questions about how to move forward with the new administration” with regards to reproductive health services, specifically access to birth control and abortion, according to the Facebook event.

Ignite at Scripps is a branch of the Ignite national nonpartisan organization, which is dedicated to increasing women’s political power and civic engagement. Sondra Abruzzo SC '19, a member of the Laspa Center, said that she felt the partnership between Ignite at Scripps and Planned Parenthood was extremely fitting and timely.

“There are so many questions people have, so many uncertainties about what our future could look like with regards to women’s health and their access to birth control and abortion,” Abruzzo said.

The event was unexpectedly popular, with the line for the free Chipotle out the door of Vita Nova. Abruzzo asked Bentz and Tyson a series of questions centered around how Trump’s actions would affect Planned Parenthood. Tyson offered input on the history of the policies and how it would affect people in different sub-populations.

According to Abruzzo, the event had two main goals. First, it focused on explaining the effect the Trump administration may have on reproductive health issues, such as how the administration would repeal Obamacare or defund Planned Parenthood, and how these policy changes would affect people across the nation. Secondly, it addressed how college students can help defend reproductive rights. According to Megan Marshall PO ‘20, the event achieved these objectives.

“Politics surrounding women’s health is incredibly complicated, but I felt like the event explained how women in California and all over the country will be affected by the new administration”, Marshall said. “I was surprised to learn that even though California’s state legislature is protecting Planned Parenthood, it will still be most affected by federal de-funding since most Planned Parenthood customers are from this state.”

However, Bentz made sure to reassure the crowd that Planned Parenthood will not be closing its doors anytime soon and will do everything in its power to continue providing reproductive health services to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds across America.

If you are interested in getting involved with events like this in the future, Abruzzo recommended joining the Planned Parenthood at the Claremont Colleges Chapter or Ignite at Scripps.

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