Reproductive rights cannot be dissociated from transgender rights
On the fourth anniversary of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, about 200 activists at Yale demanded the university provide abortion “care,” hormone therapy and contraception to all students free of charge.
The Yale Daily News reports that protest organizers said Yale is “uniquely responsible for reproductive rights advocacy” because three of the justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade (in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) are graduates of its law school (Kavanaugh, Alito and Thomas).
Protesters also said “reproductive rights” cannot be dissociated from transgender rights as “discrimination and inconsistent medical knowledge about gender transitions” adversely affect trans individuals’ access to abortion.
The activists’ specific demands include free abortion pills, free pregnancy tests, free birth control (including IUDs) and free abortion “care.” In addition, Yale officials must meet with student leaders “to make a plan for financially supporting abortion funds in states that have passed abortion bans.”
With regards to “gender-affirming care,” Yale must:
-Cover hormone replacement therapy (HRT) costs
-Guarantee a maximum wait time of 4 months for HRT requests through Yale Health
-End the counselor letter model for HRT and move to informed consent model
-End the reimbursement model for gender-affirming care and move to up-front coverage for all
[University Spokesperson Karen] Peart told the News that contraception and pregnancy termination will always be covered under Yale Health Basic. Students under the basic plan receive free contraception through external pharmacies under the Affordable Care Act. Peart confirmed, however, that only students under Yale Speciality Care are eligible for coverage for “gender transition services.”
[Young Democratic Socialists of America’s Caitlyn] Clarke said that some students are not able to opt into Yale Specialty Care because of its $3,000 price tag.
Protester Flora Ranis ’24 called the University’s current state of healthcare options “absolutely reprehensible.”
“We have billions of dollars in our endowment,” Ranis said at the protest. “It is feasible for us to decrease healthcare costs and provide reproductive health care and basic human rights to our students.”
Yale alumnus Carrie Baker, who allegedly knew Brett Kavanaugh while a student in the late 1980s, ripped the now-Supreme Court justice at the protest: “How are we producing people who are taking away our long-standing constitutional rights?”
IMAGE: Yale Daily News / Twitter screencap