Women’s reproductive health has recently jumped to the forefront of American news. There have been many attempts at restricting access to reproductive health care in different areas of the country, most notably in Texas. According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 600 anti-reproductive health care pieces of legislation have been introduced across 47 states in 2021 alone. As an institution educating many future health professionals, the University of New England is in a unique position to ensure that this important issue is addressed so that the next generation of health care providers can advocate for women’s rights.

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U N E student at the Women's March 2021
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Group photo of participants of the Women's March 2021
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Two U N E students standing together at the Women's March 2021
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U N E student speaking at the Women's March 2021
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Three U N E students at the Women's March 2021

When I became President of UNE’s Generation Action Club, my priority was to focus on projects that would involve and benefit all members of the UNE community. We decided to hold a Women’s March to raise awareness of Women’s reproductive health care and to show that UNE is a place where all people are treated equally. Watching this idea become a reality was truly amazing.

The event, which was held on October 22, started with a speech from GenAction Secretary, Safiya Nafai ’24. We then paused for a moment of silence to reflect upon why it was that we were marching. Then we marched! The voices of our students chanting, “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” ensured our message was heard. As I was leading the march across campus, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with joy seeing everybody behind me fighting for something I feel so passionately about. It was an incredibly powerful moment, and I am so thankful for everyone who helped make this happen. There is a quote that has always spoken to me: “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Brooke McLaughlin, Neuroscience ’23
President, UNE Generation Action
March co-organizer with Emma Naess ’23, Safiya Nafai ’24, and Jordyn Tullock ’24

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