"I think that for us, one of the key turning points in terms of becoming more effective organizers was challenging the parts of ourselves that are deeply resisting causing disruption or making anyone uncomfortable. Especially as women, I think it can be hard to turn off the part of our brains that have been conditioned to follow all the rules, explicit or unstated, which allow others to have the final word. Once we decided that the changes we were seeking were more important than being comfortable or likable all the time, the organizing really took off. We had to make the mental switch from "are we allowed to do this?" to "we are going to do this." - Hallie, Clark University
Who We Are
The NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts campus program is a network of passionate student leaders who fight for reproductive freedom on their campuses and in their communities. Students transform their passion into action by working to elect pro-choice candidates and pass pro-choice legislation. They build strong relationships with community partners and educate their peers on the state of reproductive health both at home and across the country. Our students gain invaluable experience and develop the skills necessary to become the next great leaders of the pro-choice movement.
What We're Up To
During the 2015-2016 school year, our seven campus chapters made 500 phone calls to elect pro-choice champions to the Massachusetts legislature and pass priority bills that expand and protect reproductive freedom. They held 40 events on campus ranging from panel discussions and advocacy workshops, to interactive exhibits mobilizing their peers to action. These events engaged over 3,000 students in the movement for reproductive freedom.
February 2016 - NARAL Pro-Choice Bowdoin hosted, in collaboration with local community group Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!), a discussion about the power of sharing stories across generations to break down abortion stigma.
February 2016 -Tufts Students for NARAL reached out to fellow students, faculty and staff and asked them to share why they are pro-choice at Tufts. Over 75 campus community members participated.
Our students amplified their voices through local and campus papers, publishing seven letters to the editor and op-eds on a range of reproductive rights topics from the use of telemedicine to expand access to abortion care in rural communities, to the need to pass legislation ensuring access to co-pay free birth control.
Many chapters earned external media attention from the energy and success of their on campus campaigns, including our Clark chapter and their work to bring comprehensive sexual health resources to campus.
The student leaders didn’t stop there, joining NARAL members from across the commonwealth to protest anti-abortion presidential candidates, and even traveling to Washington D.C. to rally for the most historic reproductive rights case since Roe V. Wade.
March 2016 - NARAL campus leaders rallied outside the Supreme Court, joining activists and leaders from across the country in a rally to mark the opening arguments of Whole Woman's Health v Hellerstedt.
October 2015 - NARAL campus leaders protest at a Donald Trump event in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts. "When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”
Currently, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts has campus chapters at Boston University, Bowdoin College, Clark University, Salem State University, Simmons College and Tufts University.
If you are a student dedicated to pro-choice activism and would like to get involved in a pre-existing chapter or start a new NARAL chapter on your campus, please send an email to Lillian Lanier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The chance to create and oversee a chapter of NARAL has provided me a space to build a pro-choice group that I wanted but could never find." - Samantha, Tufts University
"Taking steps toward political advocacy for women's rights has made me feel in control of my own destiny" - Tara, Boston University
"While tabling in our dining commons, a guy came up to me and said 'You know, your work is very controversial! You're going to upset a lot of people!' and I just smiled and simply stated, 'I know.'" - Natessa, Salem State University
What We Accomplished in the 2015-2016 School Year