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US: Students fight for ‘reproductive justice’ via Planned Parenthood

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VOX's President is passionate about opening a dialogue into reproductive health on campus. Source: Shutterstock.

In Arizona, a state recently dubbed the most pro-life of all US states, one student group is trying to push for a change in the way students see reproductive health.

The group known as the VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood was founded in 2015 by students with aims to “educate and inspire a new generation of young adults to advocate for reproductive freedom.” The club has been making waves nationwide since and is now nationally recognized as an official campus action group for Planned Parenthood.

Shortly after its formation, the University of Arizona (UA) Women’s Resource Center (WRC) adopted VOX and has since helped it organize regular events encouraging students to fight for reproductive justice.

According to Campus Reform, VOX, which now has about 20 active members, holds something like six events per semester. It adds that the club’s key purpose is to “translate increased awareness of reproductive justice into pro-choice activism” and promote “full-access” to abortion.

“People should have the access to take care of their bodies. Whether they want to have any kids, whether they want one, or none. I want people to be able to have that option to decide what they want for their own bodies, to have their own autonomy,” VOX President Sedona Lynch told the publication.

She added Planned Parenthood is absolutely vital for students.

“Especially on a college campus, I think it’s important to fight for reproductive justice because everyone here’s trying to get an education,” Lynch said.

“We’re trying to be successful in life. Students should have the ability to make choices about their own bodies, whether it’s getting birth control on campus […] or Plan B.”

Lynch said the club is incredibly active on campus. VOX regularly collaborates with other groups and organizations in order to work towards a better future together.

“We do a lot of different work during the school year, whether it’s working in solidarity with other organizations in the Tucson area like Black Lives Matter, or in solidarity with DACA students here on campus.”

As of yet, there are no events currently scheduled for the spring semester. However, there are definite plans to continue running them. In particular, Lynch hopes to run a campaign designed to inspire UA to extend its health insurance coverage to students from low-income families.

UA Spokesperson Chris Sigurdson told Campus Reform VOX is one of 600 student clubs that receive funding from the school’s student government. VOX is awarded a mandatory US$75 fee per semester. However, the club receives no taxpayer funding.

Sigurdson claimed VOX has increased student engagement on campus.

“Students involved [with clubs] on campus tend to have better grades, retention, and graduation rates and have a better college experience overall,” Sigurdson said speaking with Campus Reform.

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