Women’s rights forum provides space to discuss recent abortion laws


Eva Levy

Student discuss current issues regarding women’s rights at a May 24 forum. GenerationWOW, a student-run women’s empowerment club, hosted the forum to provide an open space for students to express their views.

By Eva Levy

Hoping to provide a space for students to openly express concerns and opinions about recent abortion laws, GenerationWOW, a student-run women’s empowerment club, held a forum in the media center May 24.

Of all the laws, Alabama’s is the most extreme, banning abortion at any stage and calling for up to 99 years of imprisonment for doctors who perform abortions—more than the four-year average sentence for rape. States including Ohio, Georgia Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Utah and Mississippi have also passed restrictive abortion laws, and other states, including Louisiana, are considering passing similar bills.

Most of the students who participated in the forum agreed that being “pro-choice” doesn’t mean completely supporting the principle of abortion; instead, it means respecting the choices of others to carry out a pregnancy or get an abortion.

“To be forced into something like that is so scary,” sophomore Nikki Widra said during the forum. “Even though I live in Maryland, I’m scared.”

GenWOW President Maddie Menkes and Vice President Defne Aslan wanted to spur a conversation about current events regarding women.

“I was noticing a lot of social media activism—which is great—but it’s nice to have that face to face discussion,” Menkes said. “A lot of people have had opinions, and sometimes people are afraid to speak their mind or can’t find a place where they can voice their opinions without judgment.”

Though most of the students at the forum were “pro-choice,” they emphasized the importance of understanding different perspectives. Menkes explained how, in order to have a developed opinion, students have to actively listen to opposing views.

“The struggle is trying to respect the other person’s opinion,” sophomore Sophie Cashin said. “People always want to be right. And they always want there to be a right and a wrong.”

GenWOW plans to host more forums on issues of women’s rights next year.