Reproductive rights on campus

Campus organizations speak on the impact of Proposal 3, a year later

Nov. 8 marks a year since Proposal 3 was passed in Michigan, and Ferris groups on both sides of the bill have reflected on its impact.

Prop 3 is a bill that allows someone the right to their own reproductive freedoms. These include the right to contraception, pregnancy, abortion, prenatal care, postpartum care, sterilization, infertility treatment and miscarriage management. The bill’s passing allowed for there to still be some government restrictions on abortion surrounding fetal viability.

Both sides of the abortion debate are demonstrated by students on the Robinson quad. Photo credit: Jessica Oakes l Editor in Chief

Business administration senior Joshua Price is the president of Protect Life. He is also a campus activist apprentice through the Protect Life Michigan Chapter. Price brought up one of the organization’s biggest concerns with Prop 3 being passed, which was the abortion pill. He explained that there are two main issues that the group has concerns about.

“They’re beginning to take the abortion pill too late in the process,” Price said. “The other issue is that there’s a lack of information on how the pills are supposed to be taken. So, one of the issues that the pregnancy centers found is that people will skip on the first note, and so just begin early contractions. Because of that, they often wind up giving live births long before the child is viable.”

He explained that both of these cause pain for those who are pregnant and can lead to abnormal cramping and unintended bleeding. He also explained that the pill is recommended to be taken by the 10-week mark of the pregnancy.

In addition to this, according to the University of Michigan Health, anyone can get an abortion in Michigan until week 24 of the pregnancy. It is also stated that anyone under the age of 18 must have parental consent before having an abortion.

Social work junior Jennifer O’Connor is the secretary for the RSO Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. She explained that Prop 3 was the organization’s first political introduction on campus, and she felt that it helped out not only FMLA but also other Ferris students.

Demonstrators hold discussions with students individually about the topic. Photo credit: Jessica Oakes l Editor in Chief

“For a long time, there wasn’t a pro-choice/feminist perspective on campus, it was only the pro-life perspective,” O’Connor said. “I think our group has positively impacted the student body, I have had so many people tell me how grateful they are to see us being active on campus and to see another side of reproductive rights. I feel like more people are comfortable with saying that they are pro-choice because our group.”

O’Connor also stated that one of the group’s top priorities is advocating reproductive rights, and Prop 3 has helped them further along their cause.

Construction management senior Jakob Loutzenhiser is the president of the RSO College Republicans. He explained how his group was disappointed in the results of Prop 3, and how he has heard about other groups on campus being harassed for their beliefs.

“I hear about the events that [Protect Life] run[s] and I guess the only thing on campus that concerns me is that there’s, as far as I’ve been told, there’s been a lot of trying to like shut down conversations from the other side of the aisle, if you will,” Loutzenhiser said. “And by that I mean, think of it last year and one thing that comes to mind is that there was a person that tried to steal one of their signs that they’re holding up for their event, which they’re allowed to do on the quad.”

Loutzenhiser explained that the person who stole the sign ripped it to shreds and was later arrested. Other than that incident, Loutzenhiser didn’t explain any other issues he had seen with the opposing sides.

The different RSO groups for each side plan to continue to fight for their cause. Protect Life plans to do more tablings throughout the semester to show students information about fetus development and abortion. FMLA plans to continue their Monday night meetings at 6 p.m. in FLITE 214, where anyone is welcome.

Editor in Chief Jessica Oakes is a member of Ferris’ Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and did not contribute to the reporting of this article.