Sociology and Anthropology
Reproductive rights; policy; women; Reproductive resources
There are over 47,000 women enrolled in collegiate institutions across the state of Rhode Island, including 55% of the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) student body. In order to plan for the future, college women need information on the reproductive resources available to them to have autonomy in their decision-making about when or whether they want children. Under the current federal administration, women’s reproductive rights have been threatened, with legislators consistently calling to defund Planned Parenthood. On the state level, Rhode Island has received an “F” from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). This project seeks to empower college women at URI to access available resources and be aware of their rights and the political threats to them. During an educational event held at URI, students were presented with a comprehensive list of reproductive resources on campus and in the state, informed about federal and state policies being proposed, and viewed a documentary about reproductive justice. The history of reproductive rights in the U.S., the current policies that affect them, and the resources currently available to students at URI were researched. Pre- and post-tests measured the impact of the event on learning about reproductive rights and a policy brief outlining the findings was distributed to Rhode Island legislators.