Giving Students a Stronger 'VOX'

Editor:

At least one person in four will contract a sexually transmitted infection at some point in his life.

Eighty percent of women and 40 percent of men infected with chlamydia have no symptoms.

Without contraception, the average woman would become pregnant more than 12 times in her life.

Over 3 million unintended pregnancies occur in the United States every year.

Worldwide, a woman dies from pregnancy-related causes every minute.

Should you care? If you or anyone that you care about is sexually active, then you’d better care.

Since 1995, the U.S. Congress has voted 116 times to restrict access to family planning, sex education and the right to choose. If you have ever gone to a family planning clinic such as Planned Parenthood for prenatal care, gynecological exams, birth control, emergency contraception or testing for sexually transmitted infections, then you, along with the vast majority of Americans, know how important reproductive health care can be. Yet politicians seem to be increasingly determined to deny us access to these services.

VOX is a new UCSD student organization dedicated to speaking out for reproductive freedom. VOX is Latin for “”voice,”” and we’re here to make our voices heard on campus and in the Capitol. We are endorsed by Planned Parenthood, and we want to help students learn about reproductive rights so that all of us have the training and opportunities we need to make our voices heard by legislators.

All people have the right to manage their own fertility. We are a pro-choice group that firmly believes that access to family planning services, responsible sexuality education and preventive health care reduces the numbers of unintended pregnancies and abortions. We want access to reproductive health care and education to be available to everyone.

Legislators make decisions that affect choices every day. It’s time to remind our legislators that they work for us — their job is to cast a vote that reflects what their communities want. They can’t do that unless they hear from us.

That’s where VOX comes in. We want our voices at UCSD to be heard. Together, we can let our legislators know what we expect from them. We can get the facts and use them to affect policies involving reproductive health and rights in our community, in our state, and in our nation.

Do you care yet?

On May 9, 10 VOX members traveled to Sacramento to lobby our state senators and Assembly men. Another trip is currently in the works. We are taking the power into our own hands and helping to protect reproductive health rights and family planning.

Join our efforts! If you want to learn more about VOX and upcoming opportunities to affect reproductive rights, come out and meet us May 22-24 on Library Walk. Whether you’re looking for information or want to get involved, we’ll be there with the facts.

Speak up. Use your voice. You may just find it’s the most powerful tool that you have.

For more information about VOX, please contact Robert Ashley at (619) 683-7545 Ext. 184, or email [email protected].

— VOX

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