Students, Faculty Join ‘We Had Enough’ Rally in Harrisburg
On Sept. 27, a bus load of Arcadia University students went to Harrisburg for a rally on reproductive rights called “We’ve Had Enough,” joining about 400 attendees. Arcadia University represented the largest contingent of students from the area, with almost 50 students attending and participating in the letter-writing and educational events.
“I was the point person who kept track of all of the students, and I was thrilled to see the level of interest among the students and the students’ desire to mobilize their friends. They were so engaged that they rearranged their schedules to give of their own time to create social change. Amazingly, it took us less than a week to fill up a bus,” said Dr. Dina Pinsky, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of Gender and Women’s Studies.
“It was so inspiring to see how our students took action on a cause that addresses so many social issues such as access to health care, privacy and women’s bodies and class and privilege. I personally was moved by their commitment to speak their minds and hold public officials responsible. So often we see young folks as apathetic, but not here and not now. We were all energized by hearing so many voices, young and old, coalesce around a common vision of a more just and sane world,” said Dr. Ana Maria Garcia, Assistant Professor and Chair of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice.
“In spite of being called an apathetic generation, it’s inspiring to see how engaged and involved our students are,” added Dr. Joanne Lucena, Assistant Professsor of Modern Languages. Kim Oxholm, who is on the board of Southeastern Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood, also attended the rally.
“We are producing highly educated citizens who are going to be leaders of their communities wherever they settle after they graduate,” said President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III. “Petitioning government is not just a right preserved to us through our Constitution, but an essential way for citizens to have their voices heard. I am proud of these students for deciding that they had time in their busy schedules to devote to the democratic process, and I hope others will follow suit—including having all students register to vote and then vote on Election Day in November.”
The rally was a coalition of agencies, organizations and individuals who came together to protest the endangerment of women’s lives, organizers said. Included in this coalition were Planned Parenthood Associations, Women’s Law Project, Lutheran Settlement House, Pennsylvania Clergy for Choice, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Black Women’s Health Alliance and Women’s Way. One impetus for the rally was a June 27 House Committee on Health vote to amend SB 732 to make abortion providers comply with strict Ambulatory Surgical Facility regulations. This action would, organizers said, raise costs and lead to a two-tier system where the wealthy have better access to reproductive services than the poor and middle class.