'Abortion rights' conference stigmatizes conservatives

Toni Airaksinen
New York Senior Campus Correspondent

  • Hampshire College is kicking off its annual "Reproductive Justice" conference in April with an "abortion speak out" event where women will share their personal experiences of having abortions.
  • The three-day conference will also feature workshops on "Talking With Conservative Family and Friends about Abortion" and "How to Fight the Right."
  • Hampshire College will play host to an “Abortion Speak Out” next month as part of a conference geared toward advocating for “reproductive freedom.”

    Breaking Silences: An Abortion Speak Out” will be held on the first evening of the school’s annual conference on reproductive justice, entitled “From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom.” 

    "It’s common to feel frustrated, angry, and/or drained by conversations with people we care about who hold deeply conservative views on reproductive health, especially abortion."   

    The conference will offer nearly 70 individual workshops dedicated to abortion rights, including “Abortion Access: Overcoming Barriers and Removing Obstacles” and “Talking With Conservative Family and Friends about Abortion,” according to its schedule.

    [RELATED: California bill deems abortion a ‘constitutional right’]

    “It’s common to feel frustrated, angry, and/or drained by conversations with people we care about who hold deeply conservative views on reproductive health, especially abortion,” the description for the aforementioned workshop explains.

    “In this interactive workshop, we will explore approaches and skills for having more productive conversations...with the twin goals of reducing cultural stigma against abortion and maintaining…these potentially challenging relationships,” the description adds. 

    Students will also be treated to workshops such as “Hood Girl Healing,” “We Are Fat Not Invisible,” “Queering Reproductive Justice” and “How to Fight the Right,” according to the conference schedule. 

    While most workshops are open to all, some do note that they are a “closed space for people of color,” a “closed space for to those who self-identify as children of immigrants” or a “closed space for Fat People of Color (size 16 and up).” 

    [RELATED: ‘Fat Studies’ course deems ‘weightism’ a ‘social justice issue’]

    Last year, Hampshire offered a travel stipend to help attendees cover the cost of the conference, but this year the school is only offering fundraising resources to help participants raise the money themselves.

    It is being organized by the Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) program at Hampshire College, which is explicitly dedicated to promoting universal access to abortions.

    “We inspire, educate, train and support new activists and leadership to secure reproductive and sexual rights, freedom, and justice for everyone,” the CLPP website states, explaining that its goal is to advocate for “A world where reproductive justice is a basic human right.”

    Campus Reform reached out to Hampshire College and the CLPP program for comment, but did not receive a response from either.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen





    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Senior Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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