VOX fliers spread awareness of reproduction rights

A series of controversial fliers relating to reproductive rights has been put on display in most buildings at the College.

VOX: Voices of Planned Parenthood, a student organization, posted copies of 12 different fliers, in early April, in an effort to increase campus awareness of reproductive rights, according to Liz Noyes, director of Public Affairs for the Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area.

The fliers express the organization’s pro-choice stance.

Most of the fliers appear to be public announcements. One flier states, “Public Hearing: A meeting will be held on the first of this month to determine whether women should retain the right to vote.”

A second flier states, “City Curfew: Effective immediately, all women are required to be home between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. to cook for their husbands.”

At the bottom of each flier, the following statement, appearing in fine print, explains the messages: “If a woman loses her reproductive rights, who knows what rights she could lose next.”

Another set of fliers portrays images that suggest a lifestyle without legalized abortion. One flier depicts a sign that reads “Operating Room” on the wall of a dingy bathroom.

A second shows a sign reading “Patient Recovery Area” on a brick wall surrounded by a dumpster and barbed wire.

The posting of the fliers was a “culmination of a semester-long effort to get the word out about reproductive rights,” Noyes said.

Jackie Cornell, president of VOX, discovered the fliers at a Planned Parenthood conference in Portland, Ore. and was drawn to their effectiveness.

“They really opened up people’s eyes,” she said.

Kelly Nagel, freshman accounting major, agreed.

“(The fliers) were definitely effective,” she said. “The message stuck in my mind because I had to look twice to figure out they weren’t real.”

Noyes said the fliers were posted at the College because they are “eye-catching and surprising.”

The fliers have incited some student backlash, however.

One flier illustrates “Athletic Programs for the Upcoming School Year.” Fourteen men’s sports are listed, while only cheerleading is offered to women.

Cornell received an e-mail from an angered student, who said that Title IX, which does away with sex-based athletic discrimination in schools, eliminates the chance of such a scenario actually taking place.

In response, Cornell said that the purpose of the flier is to show that choice does exist by depicting a lifestyle without choice.

“A lot of people don’t realize how quickly their reproductive rights can be taken away from them,” she said.

Members of VOX are concerned about the national situation regarding freedom of choice.

On Jan. 22, 1973, a court decision in the case Roe v. Wade gave women across the nation the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

According to Noyes, there exists a “distinct possibility” that this initial ruling will be overturned, allowing each state to adopt its own law regarding abortion.

In this case, a total of 28 states would restrict women’s reproductive rights.

This would create the need for parental notification, among other restrictions.

According to Noyes, 11 states might revoke the right to undergo an abortion.

The prohibition of abortion would be “the ultimate nightmare,” she said. “It’s mind-boggling that a human right like that would be determined by where you live.”