By Diana Solano
Since the beginning of time, there have been barriers that women face in having access to their reproductive rights.
On Thursday, Oct. 10, Sigma Lambda Gamma invited students to its event, “Know Your Rights,” which was held in the Education Building Room 205 and allowed students to learn about the current state of women’s reproductive rights in America.
Stephanie Cajamarca, a senior public health major and member of Sigma Lambda Gamma, presented on the topic.
“It could change the whole dynamic of the government not just on a national level, but at a local level as well,” Cajamarca said. “With the elections coming up this year, the more our community is educated on their reproductive rights, the better.”
The presentation acknowledged the history in the U.S. of outlawing abortion, banning birth control clinics and the barriers that women had to overcome.
A key point in the discussion was the pivotal Roe vs. Wade case in 1973, which allowed for a pregnant woman to have an abortion and not be restricted by the government in any way. The presenters showed a diagram of what the U.S. would be like if the case didn’t pass — many states would have made it illegal and inaccessible to obtain an abortion.
Without Roe vs. Wade and other laws in place, many women would have been pressured would have to take matters into their own hands and potentially harm themselves.
“There are barriers that women face on a daily basis which is not acceptable and there needs to be more exposure on this topic so that everyone can play a role in the change,” Cajamarca said.
Audience members were asked to paint their response to what women’s reproductive rights meant to them. The blank canvases that were handed out by the sisters then converted into colorful canvases that were filled with empowering quotes and images.
Odalys Quito, a senior psychology major, painted a coat hanger in a red circle with a line across it.
“In a nutshell, this is my response to the question,” Quito said. “Women that use coat hangers use them because they are the last resort to end a pregnancy. They feel like they have to use dangerous and unsafe methods because they don’t have other viable options, such as a safe abortion or birth control.”
Quito and many others in the audience proudly displayed their canvases on what reproductive rights meant to them and left the event knowing more on the topic.
“Reproductive rights to me are having the right to do what you wish with your body, as well as the right to have an abortion or take birth control,” Quito said.