Feminist Union sponsors letter-writing campaign

Madelyn Otcasek

Tim Branagan, sophomore psychology major, writes letters to Ohio representatives, saying they should not pass Ohio House Bill 496. ALLIEY BENDER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Feminist Union sponsored a letter-writing campaign with Planned Parenthood yesterday in Risman Plaza to raise awareness for several Ohio House and Senate bills that may affect students.

Emily Costa, sophomore anthropology major and incoming president, said that this bill and the others they are writing for apply “to anybody sexually active.”

House Bill 469, introduced by Rep. Keith Faber (R), intends to provide protection from liability to pharmacists who choose to deny medicine that results in abortion or contraceptives because it may be against their moral judgment.

Carrie Wicks, outgoing president of the Feminist Union, said the issue doesn’t just apply to women.

She relayed the story of a middle-aged man in tattoos and leather who was denied his prescription for syringes because of his looks.

“He needed it for his diabetes,” she said.

Costa said pharmacists are supposed to refer patients to other pharmacies that will fill the prescription that they refuse to fill. Some pharmacists have even taken the prescription from patients.

“An uneducated woman doesn’t know (that they can’t do that),” she said. “She can ask for her prescription back.”

Northeast Ohio Field Organizer Debbie Kline was on hand from Planned Parenthood. She said it was especially important for women at Kent State to know what kind of bills are going through Congress.

“Ohio has the worst (proposed) abortion ban,” she said, referring to House Bill 228, which may make abortion illegal even in cases of rape, incest and the woman’s life and health.

Another piece of legislation being opposed by Planned Parenthood is House Bill 239, which may declare the policy of the state to prefer childbirth over abortion where allowed by the Constitution.

Participants were asked to fill out two postcards, one for a photo album for the Ohio congress members and one for a display in the Student Center aimed for next fall. The purpose of the photo album would be “to show there are pro-choice people in Ohio,” said Costa.

Several students came by to sign cards despite the wind in.

“I am a guy and as much as it could be my child, it will never be my body,”Alex Kral, 20, said.

Costa said the main purpose of the event was to inform students about the bills going through Congress.

For more information about the proposed bills, visit www.ppao.org.

Contact news aide Madelyn Otcasek at [email protected]