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The Gatepost Editorial: Let women be heard

Kyle Walker / THE GATEPOST

By The Gatepost Editorial Board

March 1st marks the start of Women's History Month.

This is a time to reflect on all of the women who have impacted you throughout your life. 

This could be anyone, from your mother to a famous pop star. 

It is not only a time to appreciate the women around us but also to consider some of the struggles women face on a day-to-day basis. 

It is also a time to reflect on how women's autonomy is debated politically. 

A recent Alabama State Supreme Court ruling, LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine, found that frozen embryos should be considered children.

This means embryos, whether they are frozen in a clinic petri dish or already in a woman's womb, will be “protected” under this legislation.

 A piece of paper should not control when or how a woman decides to have children.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June 2022 to overturn Roe v. Wade has had catastrophic effects on abortion rights across the country. 

Today, abortion is protected by state law in 21 states as well as the District of Columbia.

However, it is at risk of being severely limited or prohibited in 26 states and three territories, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, abortion policies and reproductive rights are in the hands of each state.

Women all over the country, no matter what state they are from, are frightened by these decisions.

Women on The Gatepost editorial board believe that their voices are no longer being heard.

Thankfully, as residents of Massachusetts, our lawmakers have been vocal about protecting and advocating for women's rights.

In an article published by MassLive, Governor Maura Healey said, “We stand for civil rights and freedom. We will always protect access to reproductive health care, including medication abortion.”

Framingham State has a place in history as the first women's normal school in the United States.

Since 1839, Framingham State has been an institution that has protected women's rights and promoted their opportunities. 

But these recent political developments have made us ask, “What can FSU do to better support women today?”

While emergency contraception is only $20 if bought from the FSU Health and Wellness Center, it costs $50 if bought at a pharmacy.

It is important to note, according to the Massachusetts ACCESS law, that you can get emergency contraception at no cost if you are on an eligible health insurance plan.

We feel that most students are not aware of this law.

With the statewide standing order, you are able to go directly to your pharmacist or obtain a prescription from your clinician to get emergency contraception for free.

According to this law, you can even get a prescription to keep on hand just in case.

Both emergency contraception pills such as levonorgestrel Plan B One-Step and ulipristal acetate ella are included, according to the website.

In 2022, Boston University’s student union stocked a vending machine with a generic type of Plan B for $7.25.

We believe this is something Framingham State could explore as well. 

According to a study published in 2007 by the National Library of Medicine, “Because of the higher risk for an unplanned pregnancy with unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure among college women, continued efforts are needed to enhance timely access to EC [Emergency Contraception] in this population.”

In a study published by the same source in 2024, undergraduate students “identified cost and privacy as significant barriers to acquiring sexual health products on campus.”

Pregnancy tests are also available at the health center free of charge, but the concealed cost is the invasive conversation needed with a clinician before receiving the pregnancy test. 

While a cost barrier might be a reason a student visits the health center for a pregnancy test, the undue level of embarrassment that might come from taking a pregnancy test at the health center might be a reason a student delays their investigation.

We believe that along with easier and cheaper access to emergency contraception on campus, pregnancy tests should also be readily available without the requirement of an appointment at the health center.

Anything that makes access to emergency contraception and pregnancy tests easier for students should be taken into consideration by FSU, especially with the recent and ongoing political attacks on women's autonomy. 

Women on the Framingham State campus deserve to have their reproductive rights concerns heard and addressed. 

We will not stop fighting for what our mothers fought for: equality.


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