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State pro-choice group, BGSU students educate community on reproductive rights

The BGSU College Democrats teamed up with BGSU FORGE and ProChoice Ohio to host an educational reproductive rights program on campus Thursday.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, there has been continuous discussion in and out of the courts for state bans. Currently, Ohio has a law on the books to ban most abortions.

But, a Cincinnati-area judge put a hold on the law, at least for another two weeks. The Bowling Green State University College Democrats teamed up with community organization BGSU FORGE and ProChoice Ohio to host an Educational Reproductive Rights Program on campus Thursday.

Some of the event attendees don't have the ability to bear children. Ben Thomason is one of them and he said attending the program was about solidarity.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," Thomason said. "If we stand up for these issues, we can help uplift people who are struggling and they'll be stronger and in a better position."

Thomas, a BGSU student, is part of the campus organization Socialist Society. He said his fellow clubmates are all about equality for all. 

The College Democrats' Vice President, Emily Gerome, and Treasurer Elyse Adrian said they passed out flyers a week before this event and were hoping for a good turnout.

"We're not really focused on the numbers," Gerome said. "We're definitely focused on the message. We just want to get the word out there and we see a lot of people that are like, 'we're pro-choice, this is what we're standing up for.' We know that's going to attract more individuals as well.'

During the event, it was standing room only. Attendees were a mix of students and community members, and people of all ages, races and genders. This turnout made event speaker, ProChoice Ohio's Senior Organizer Hannah Servedio, excited. 

"Over the last week, I've been in a number of different spaces and the turnout and the amount of people that want to have this conversation, especially in light of this upcoming election, is incredible," Servedio said. 

She said she wanted to make sure everyone understands what is and isn't legal when it comes to the state's ban on abortion, as well as the importance of talking about this issue, and if needed, where people can get help. 

"There are nine clinics in the state of Ohio," Servedio said. "There is one in Toledo. Abortion is legal in Ohio, up until 22 weeks. That's 21 weeks and 6 days from your last menstrual period. you can seek that care if you are in need of it."

Before the presentation, the college democrats had a group of tables in the atrium of the student union where passersbys could sign up for voter registration, a handful of pro-choice items and a place to make posters. A community program offered free assistance and items in women's health.

Adrian said the college democrats are looking for more vocal supporters. She also reminded people to vote in the general election on Nov. 8.

In addition to the presentation, there was a pro-choice march afterward. Event attendees and some others marched around campus holding signs and expressing their views about abortion and the bans.

The temporary hold on Ohio's abortion ban, it will be in place until Oct. 12.

RELATED: Court documents reveal 2 more Ohio minors who were abused left the state for abortions

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