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U of MN SDS: Open letter to President Gabel and the board of regents

By staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the University of Minnesota chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.

Since before the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, Students for a Democratic Society has been organizing on campus to protect and expand women’s and reproductive rights. We have organized marches, rallies, call-ins and more to demand immediate action from the university administration, yet you so far have ignored our demands.

President Gabel, when Roe v. Wade was overturned, you made a statement outlining the resources available on campus, like we had called for, but you – as well as those of you on the board of regents – have on the whole remained unresponsive to the demands of students on this issue. The University of Minnesota has a responsibility to stand up for women’s and reproductive rights, and to use its resources to expand them on our campus and in the state.

The state of Minnesota only has 8 abortion clinics and has countless so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” (which do not in fact provide access to resources and care, but manipulate people into not getting abortions, some even promote “abortion reversal” pills, which aren't based in science), with one just a light rail stop away from campus called “First Care Pregnancy Center”. This being said, it is imperative that an institution with the resources of the U of MN, one of the largest medical providers in the state, take action to expand access to these badly needed resources.

In order to protect and expand women’s and reproductive rights on our campus, we are demanding: the establishment of a Reproductive Rights Advocacy Center, which would be akin to the Aurora Center but provide support and resources for those seeking to access reproductive care such as abortions and STD testing; The creation of a reproductive health module for incoming freshman orientation; Boycotting by the University of big-ticket events in states with restrictive heartbeat bill abortion bans, in order to put greater pressure on states that are restricting these rights; and the establishing of an abortion clinic on every single University of Minnesota campus.

This issue and these demands resonate greatly with the students of this university, shown alone by the 10,000 people who joined us to protest the overturning of Roe last June, but also by the continued support students have shown of this campaign throughout the past semester. If you claim to care at all for the interests of students, campus workers, community members, and for reproductive justice at this university, then you have the duty to act immediately. We demand you, President Joan Gabel and the Board of Regents, meet with us to negotiate the implementation of our demands on campus.

Warmest Regards,

Students for a Democratic Society

[email protected]

For students interested in hearing more about this campaign, follow us on instagram: @umnsds

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