Fordham Law Students’ Health Clinic a Success, But University Still Refuses to Divulge Health Care Policies

1:34 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Bridgette Dunlap for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Last week, the Fordham Law School chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice held an off-campus clinic to provide access to birth control prescriptions and condoms to students of our Catholic University.  It was a greater success than we had hoped for.  Once we were in a room packed with students meeting with doctors and having important conversations with each other, it felt totally removed from the fear, drama and controversy that led up to the event.  Forty students received prescriptions and two or three times that number came out to show their support.

I was especially grateful for the opportunity to talk with smart, thoughtful undergraduates from both the Bronx and Manhattan campuses and I hope that going forward law school students will be more involved in our larger university community. Undergraduates told us in person and in their exit surveys that access to contraception was a problem for them and they wished we had advertised more on their campuses. Unfortunately, the University forbade us from doing so.

The impact of the University’s policies on the undergraduates, which I suspect may be even greater than that on the law students, is in fact a major concern driving our efforts.  It is extremely important for young women to be able to access comprehensive medical care without feeling judged or censored, regardless of whether they are having sex or plan to anytime soon.  Conversation and information help young women to anticipate and make decisions about what kind of sexual experiences they want to have and when.  Sex should be something a woman chooses because she wants it, not something that happens to her; a campus culture of secrecy and denial of the fact that some students are sexually active isn’t creating the conditions for that.

I hope that the conversations started at the clinic will lead to collaboration between law students and undergraduates to make Fordham a better place for women and all students. Fordham law students, many of us active in public service and activism throughout the world, can be a greater resource in our own community.  We should know about the obstacles the undergraduates face in their efforts to improve the University’s sexual assault policy or to put up the Vagina Monologues.  Fordham Law is training us to be skilled and dedicated advocates; we can help. Read the rest of this entry →