Bowdoin Reproductive Justice Coalition kicks off campus discussion on reproductive health – The Bowdoin Orient

Luke Dufalla
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: Luisa Wolcott-Breen ’25, Caitlin Weiss ’25 and Cambron Wade ’24 tabled with Smith for the BRJC for Reproductive Health Week, which hosted events on reproductive rights and safety.

This week, the Bowdoin Reproductive Justice Coalition (BRJC) hosted its first Reproductive Health Week, a coordinated effort to raise awareness of reproductive health services on campus and strengthen student engagement in various arenas of reproductive health advocacy.

This week’s efforts, led by BRJC leaders Luisa Wolcott-Breen ’25, Kaitlin Weiss ’25 and Cambron Wade ’24, aimed to reduce the stigma surrounding these topics.

“Our motto for this week is ‘education, conversation and advocacy,'” Wolcott-Breen said.

To kick off the week, the BRJC presented information on reproductive health services to the College on Monday afternoon at Smith Union. The BRJC enlisted the help of Physician Assistant Julie Gray of Bowdoin Health Services to answer questions and assist with the filing.

The BRJC also collaborated with other groups on campus, including Healthy Masculinities. On Tuesday, the two organizations hosted a joint meeting to bridge the gender gap in discussions about reproductive health.

“[The meeting] was something that completely fused with our goals of discussing masculinity very broadly and how we, as men, can think about our identity and how it affects ourselves and those around us,” said Miles Berry ’25, co-leader of Healthy masculinities. “I think that goal came through in this event.”

Benny Adler ’25, who co-leads Healthy Masculinities with Berry, echoed this sentiment.

“The mobilization of groups of people for reproductive justice, especially when it comes to men, usually happens on a one-to-one level. I think [our] future actions on reproductive justice would be to use our identities to invite other men into these spaces,” Adler said.

On Wednesday evening, the BRJC hosted a student panel on birth control options at 24 College. Students such as Frances Hornbostel ’25, who attended and participated in the event, jumped at the chance to talk to other students about the often taboo subject.

“I was really excited to talk openly about something I’ve had a lot of personal experience with and offer my perspective and talk to some other cool people about their perspectives,” Hornbostel said.

On Thursday evening, the BRJC hosted a screening of the documentary ‘Connie Cook’, followed by a discussion with the documentary’s co-director, Sue Perlgut. The group will join the Women of Color Coalition for a reproductive justice dinner discussion Friday at 6 p.m. at Adams 208.

“We decided to reach out to as many groups as possible to get as many people involved in this work and to talk about it,” Wolcott-Breen said.

To close out the week, the BRJC is recruiting on Saturday in conjunction with Planned Parenthood in Portland from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. BRJC leaders see this event as an opportunity to extend their impact beyond the Bowdoin community.

“[In] ultimately, we want to engage people in Brunswick and other places beyond our campus. And that’s where outreach comes in,” Wolcott-Breen said.

Weiss added that the BRJC chose to host Reproductive Health Week just before the midterm elections and to partner with Get Out the Vote and Planned Parenthood to raise awareness about the impending fate of abortion legality in Maine. Weiss stressed that this election will also directly affect reproductive health and treatment options at Bowdoin.

“I think for much of the Bowdoin community, the way people vote has a lot to do with whether or not they protect safe, legal abortions in Maine or not,” Weiss said. “It’s a terrifying idea that where I go to college — where I live most of the year — could be a place where abortion becomes illegal.”

Reproductive Health Week and the BRJC’s goals emphasize a broader reinvention of the organization’s role on campus and the ways they seek to engage people in the conversation about reproductive health rights.

“Our goal for the coalition is that it becomes a resource on campus for everyone to lead whatever reproductive justice initiative they are passionate about and that we can use Bowdoin’s resources and our resources as a club to advance those initiatives. get going,” Weiss said. .

Bowdoin Reproductive Justice Coalition kicks off campus discussion on reproductive health – The Bowdoin Orient

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