WV Free invited students to learn about birth control options during a discussion Wednesday in the Wellness Center of Marshall University’s Rec Center.
The West Virginia Focus on Reproductive Education and Equality, or WV Free, is an organization that intends to educate West Virginians about reproductive health rights.
“It’s important for all people to learn about sexual health,” Anduwyn Williams, director for reproductive health access at WV Free, said. “Regardless of who I talk to, a lot of people have very little knowledge on this information. Any single time where I can have a conversation about sex education, I’m happy.”
The discussion was one aspect of a two-night series which featured a conversation about contraceptives during Wednesday’s discussion and a look at various pregnancy options for Thursday.
“We want to educate people about the wide variety of choices they have when it comes to contraceptive,” Williams said. “As long as you’re choosing it, that’s the contraceptive we want you to love.”
In addition to raising awareness, Williams said the discussion was also intended to bring exposure to various campaigns that are sponsored by WV Free.
“We’re always working on something,” Williams said. “Aside from the Love Your Birth Control campaign, WV Free is still continuing their work with fake clinics.”
Williams said the fake clinic campaign focuses on addressing fake reproductive health clinics all throughout the state that create obstacles for women seeking abortions. She said there are numerous clinics throughout the state with one located in Huntington.
“It’s not so much about being antichoice, it’s much more about them helping you make the choice that they think someone should make,” Williams said.
Despite being focused on education, Katie Wolfe, communications coordinator with WV Free, said the organization is also working to help prepare females in West Virginia for a future following Amendment 1. This amendment removes state wide protections for abortions if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned nationally.
“Post Amendment 1, our biggest priority is making sure that folks still have access to abortions. Amendment 1 may have passed but abortions are still legal in this state,” Wolfe said. “This has unfortunately enabled a disproportionate impact on low income people who may be seeking a abortion.”
While raising awareness about the effects of Amendment 1, Wolfe said WV Free will also be working to set up a fund which will go toward helping individuals pay for an abortion.
Additionally, the organization is also hoping to provide students with exposure to the West Virginia Legislature during a pre-legislative workshop.
“We want people to learn about the process of a bill becoming a law, how they can talk to their legislators and the hope is to have some legislators to attend,” Wolfe said. “These may be valuable tools for the future.”
The pre-legislative workshop with WV Free will be 6 p.m. Dec. 20 in the Memorial Student Center, room BE5.
Joelle Gates can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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