PPGA fights for reproductive rights

Planned Parenthood Generation Action organization brings awareness to reproductive rights. Photo courtesy of Rose McClurkin

By Molly Burke 

The Youngstown State University Planned Parenthood Generation Action organization was created in 2020 to bring awareness to sexual health and reproductive freedom on campus. 

Junior anthropology major Ally Wright, is the club’s president. Wright said PPGA hosts events to educate students on abortion access, STDs, pregnancies, healthy relationships and more. 

“We table a lot, and at those tableings sometimes we have questions to ask people related to sexual health and reproductive health and see if they can get the answers right and we will give them prizes,” Wright said. “We are actually partnering with [YSUnity: SOGIE Society] and we’ll be having a game night and movie night [in April] for anybody to join.”

Wright said that PPGA offers resources for those seeking help with birth control and abortion.

“I want to spread awareness about the abortion pill by mail initiative that’s going on,” Wright said. “If you need it … contact me … We’re not technically partnering with [medical services] but I am promoting them and their services they provide.” 

Wright said the organization has put free condom bowls around campus to make safe sex more accessible. 

“The condom bowls that are in the resident halls, that is courtesy of PPGA. We are trying to get them in all main buildings on campus including [Maag Library] and Kilcawley Center,” Wright said. 

Sophomore political science major Elise Williams, is an active member in PPGA. Williams said it has been difficult to implement some of PPGA’s goals.

“Just to put condoms in the condom bowls in the dorms, [Wright] has to go through multiple levels of administration … to get that approved,” Williams said. “It seems a little silly that we have to go through that much red tape to promote safe sex.”

Williams said the organization has taken an active abortion-rights stance in the community and participated in a protest of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Regardless, Williams said PPGA primarily wants to educate and help anyone who needs it. 

“I know that you might be on the fence about the pro-choice, pro-life issue,” Williams said. “We are not here to push you into doing one or the other. We just want you to know that we are a supportive and understanding group. We also understand whatever decision you make, and will find you the resources to make those decisions safely.”

Chris Cremers, freshman biochemistry major, is the treasurer for PPGA. Cremers joined to bring awareness about reproductive rights on campus.

“Reproductive rights are just very important to me. I believe everyone should have the right to their own body,” Cremers said. “I’m willing to try and step up and help the most I can because it’s an important topic to me.”

Cremers said PPGA has a welcoming environment, and joining the organization is a great way to make friends. 

“If you’re totally not completely on board, I know there’s a lot of mixed opinions about abortion and different things like that and reproductive health. It’s just a good way to meet people and learn information about the things that are going on,” Cremers said.