On Wednesday the UNC chapter of Students for Life of America held a tabling event called “When Do Human Rights Begin?” At the same time, less than half a mile across campus, the Carolina Association of Pharmacy Students (CAPS) hosted an event called “Advocacy for Reproductive Freedom."
While neither organization was aware of the other’s initiatives, their concurrency occurred amid the ongoing debate surrounding reproductive rights on campus.
On Oct. 17, Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, presented her speaking tour “I’m Coming For Your Abortion Access” in the Carolina Union's Great Hall. Three student organizations — the UNC chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action, Campus Y, and UNC Young Democrats — threw a “Pro-Choice Pit Party,” including a bouncy castle, free contraceptives and voter registration information in response to Hawkin’s speech.
Now, fewer than three weeks later, new events on campus seek to bring additional advocacy and dialogue to the issue of reproductive rights.
In Kerr Hall, home tothe Eshelman School of Pharmacy, CAPS provided a space for students to write letters to their representatives advocating for reproductive freedom on the federal level.
Emily Fitzpatrick, the project gender health co-chair within CAPS, said that organizing the event is important after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned the right to abortion.
The Dobbs v. Jackson decision gave states the right to determine abortion regulations. In North Carolina, most abortions are banned after the pregnancy reaches 12 weeks.
“It is my opinion that access to abortion is access to vital healthcare,” Fitzpatrick said.
She displayed QR codes that led to an American Civil Liberties Union page calling for federal action.