By Haley Bartlett, Editor-In-Chief

UTC embraces and welcomed Planned Parenthood on campus to hold a special workshop teaching the public how to discuss abortion on Sunday, Feb. 9th.

A team of representatives from both Planned Parenthood and Moms for Social Justice put on an open-minded, safe space talk over ways to properly advocate and hold conversations centered around the controversial topic of abortion.

Max Carwile, community organizer and affiliate data manager for Planned Parenthood, said the goal of the talk was to stay open and curious as well as learn a good pathway in delving into messy political conversations.

“People are afraid they’re gonna say the wrong thing and should just speak of their own values,” she said. “I wish everyone would find it easier to connect with others and have these hard conversations. That’s my goal, so people gain that comfort.”

The talk delved into ways to de-stigmatize the subject. Carwile said there are a lot of facts and restrictions people aren’t aware of when discussing the topic. She said that around 60% of women who seek an abortion have already given birth before. 

Carwile spoke about how abortion is much more broad and inclusive than some often believe and that even the fight isn’t against those who claim to be pro-life or pro-choice, but it is really a fight between politicians and the bodies of those who were born with the feminine anatomy. 

She also went further into saying that the terms pro-life and pro-choice are part of the problem because there are a multitude for meanings of both words for everyone.

“We shouldn’t have a simple two words for something so complicated,” she said.

Carwile discussed phrases to avoid when debating and advocating for safe and legal abortion as well as gave tips on a better way to set up the conversation including having a strong values statement backed by facts such as the regulations and a goal to work towards. 

The room was filled with a mixture of college students and older women, some of whom were mothers themselves. Mari Smith, a leader of Moms for Social Justice, said the goal with teaming up and doing the talk was to help teach the community to become engaged activists. 

“I think we are advocates for people in our community, and we feel this is a really important topic,” she said. “People need access to abortion.”

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