University of Chicago publishes 'abortion guide,' claims pregnancy centers 'lead to suicide'
The University of Chicago (UC) has published an “abortion guide” on its website providing information on abortion— including how to obtain one on campus.
The website—titled “abguide”—is a comprehensive guide detailing how to pay for abortion, where to find an abortion provider in the area, and what to expect from an abortion. While the site touts “options counseling,” it warns against crisis pregnancy centers, saying they could “lead to suicide” or “post-abortion stress disorder.”
UC’s abortion guide is based on principles outlined by the Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice, an organization that claims the fight for women’s reproductive justice through youth organizing, environmental justice, and workers rights. The group affirms their cause stems from the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.
Conditions blamed for the “escalated assault on women’s reproductive justice,” include the war in Iraq, anti-immigrant legislation, and “weakening environmental policies that allow toxins to contaminate our bodies and food supplies [that] exemplify the strength and comprehensiveness of these attacks on the self-determination of women and our communities.”
“The focus on and orientation towards individual rights and individual responsibility as they relate to articulation of reproductive health and women’s choice, reinforce the broader systems of political, economic, and cultural hegemony that privilege and maintain racial stratification in the United States, primarily through White supremacy,” the group states.
Jeremy Manier, a spokesperson for the university, told Campus Reform that the site is administered by the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) and the University of Chicago Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research—both of which are university-run.
“Policy staff at Ci3 and the Section created this site to educate and inform statewide health and social service providers in Illinois,” Manier said, adding that it isn’t specifically a resource guide for patients. “Academic units may create web pages as their needs warrant.”
According to Manier, UC’s IT staff helps campus groups create templates for websites.
“[T]he choice of content is up to the individuals or academic units involved,” he said.
The abortion guide was funded by the National Institute for Reproductive Rights. The university employed a UC faculty member and a graduate student, who made $12.50 an hour for 100 hours to work on the site.
The National Institute of Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, gave UC $73,057,452 for 2014.
The university itself does provide a variety of resources to students seeking information on contraception and gynecological services separate from the Ci3 page. UC touts its Ryan Center Clinic as a facility with “comprehensive health care for women seeking abortion services and miscarriage care,” making the Chicago school one of the first universities to provide abortions on campus.
The abortion guide includes a list of insurance types and whether or not they cover abortions. UC students are required to have health insurance, and the insurance provided by the school which students may purchase, provides coverage for abortion.
The guide also includes a caveat in regards to gender.
“While this guide may refer to ‘women’ when discussing study results or use female pronouns in some instances, we recognize that individuals seeking pregnancy counseling or abortion may not identify as women,” it states.
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