OpEd: “My Body, My Rights”

Amnesty InternationalRecently at Randolph-Macon, students started a chapter of the prominent human rights organization Amnesty International. This organization works to raise awareness about human rights campaigns and violations all over the world. The chapter here at R-MC will work in tandem with Amnesty International officials to select campaigns and issues that members feel are important to bring attention to. At their meeting last week, the R-MC chapter of Amnesty Inter-national has decided to take on supporting the “My Body, My Rights” campaign as their first order of business here on campus action.

“My Body, My Rights” is a project that fights for equal reproductive and sexual rights for women and girls worldwide. To-day, over 40% of women and girls of child-bearing age are located in countries where abortions are banned, heavily restricted or inaccessible. More than 215 million women are not using any form of contraception, even though they want to prevent pregnancy. It is for reasons like these that Amnesty International is calling for governments that have strict policies restricting women’s sexual and reproductive rights to do the following:

• Stop creating discriminatory laws that regulate sexuality and reproduction.• Stop third-party control over individual decision making.

• Remove barriers that prevent women from accessing reproductive health services, education and information.

• Empower people to claim and exercise their rights to reproductive and sexual health without fear of discrimination or violence

The Amnesty International chapter here at Randolph-Macon feels strongly that the “My Body, My Rights” campaign is one that is important in raising awareness for the rights to reproductive and sexual health for the benefit of women and girls around the world. In a truly free society, people must have the right to choose what happens to their own bodies. “My Body, My Rights” is one way that we can make sure that one day women will have that choice.

-Katie Schwalen, Contributing Writer

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