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America’s Next Generation of Pro-Choice Leaders

December 2, 2009

Here comes the next generation of leaders.

Ever since the Stupak amendment forced students nationwide to wake up from their complacency surrounding the fight for choice and comprehensive women’s health care, there has been a reinvigoration of student passion, verve, and drive to act.  Two weeks ago, I wrote about the first Students Stop Stupak rally that we planned here at Harvard University.  That event proved a success: upwards of a hundred people, undergraduates, graduate students, and engaged passersby, joined in to protest.  Shouting, “Health Care YES, Stupak NO” and “Stop Stupak Now!” we forced Cambridge residents, Harvard students, and local and national media to listen to us.

As we are now discovering, this is not just a one shot deal or a one-time success.  Students Stop Stupak is flourishing, not shriveling: it has quickly grown from a singular event to a movement of its own, both at Harvard and at campuses across the country.  On our campus, Students for Choice membership has exploded, with membership increasing over 800% (ok, maybe we only had five to begin with, but still…).  Harvard’s Stop Stupak activism has grown exponentially within the past two weeks alone (our facebook group, composed only of Harvard students already boasts over 250 members), and now we’re joining in with the national current.  This week, in conjunction with action events around the country, student representatives from 72 different campuses (including Harvard) are storming the capitol to lobby Senators to stand up for women’s choice and to oppose Stupak.

So what are we doing here at Harvard for tomorrow’s national effort to Stop Stupak?  We’re hosting a Call Congress event, in order to get as many people, from as many states as possible, to call their Senators and ask them to oppose Stupak.  We’ll capitalize on Harvard’s geographic diversity to make a national impact in the fight for equal, comprehensive, health care reform.

While Stupak may have set out to pass the health care reform bill by limiting women’s access to abortion coverage, he incited a significant externality: the 21st century of American pro-choice leadership is emerging on college campuses nationwide.  Step aside, anti-choice democrats: young pro-choicers are on their way to the Capitol.

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