As part of a national movement to raise awareness of the Mexico City Policy, which was recently reinstated by President Donald Trump on Jan. 23, the UNH student group Voices of Planned Parenthood (VOX) launched the #Fight4HER campaign in Union Court of the Memorial Union Building (MUB) on Wednesday afternoon.
This policy, often referred to as the Global Gag Order, bars international organizations that either perform or promote abortions from receiving funds from the United States. The policy also prevents international healthcare providers from providing information about reproductive rights and preventions, as well as abortion referrals.
Members of VOX, in partnership with the Population Connection Action Fund, gathered around a table in Union Court with the goal of raising students’ awareness about the potential effects of the policy, along with what could be done to combat it. Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, this campaign will be spread over eight college campuses across the United States. These specific schools were chosen because of their location in states where the political identities are known to swing.
The group of volunteers sat at the table Wednesday with duct tape across their mouths, with the phrase “#Fight4Her” written on it. By doing so, the group of volunteers physically represented the “gag” order.
“It’s a policy that stifles free speech,” said Woody Little, an organizer for the Fight4HER Campaign.
Additionally, volunteers gathered photo petitions from students that stated their reasons for opposing the policy. These photos will later be sent out via social media to thank leaders, such as Senator Jeanne Shaheen, for standing up for international reproductive freedoms. According to Lexah Hall, a UNH junior linguistics major and treasurer of Vox, the campaign also hopes that these images will eventually reach Trump and might lead him to revamping the policy.
The policy also prevents international healthcare providers from providing information about reproductive rights and preventions as well as abortion referrals. Doing so would cut all government funding of the healthcare practice.
“It’s a rule that prevents millions of women, all because of a few men,” Hall said.
Vox will be putting on a screening of the documentary “Vessel” on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in Room 233 in the MUB; this film showcases a doctor that provides abortions in international waters for women who wouldn’t have access to them otherwise.