As the abortion debate heats up around the country following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-abortion groups have ramped up efforts on college campuses.
However, it may come as a surprise that the largest conservative-leaning university in the country is allowing its student organizations to promote seminars about abortions that border the line of legality and risk putting their students in legal danger. The Texas A&M University College of Medicine recently allowed a chapter of Medical Students for Choice to host a presentation with Dr. April Lockley about how to self-manage medical abortions.
This presentation, titled “Self-Managed Abortion Workshop,” took place over Zoom on Tuesday evening, where an audience of 47 people joined in on the call. According to a mass email sent by the organization, the event would be a place where “students will learn the various ways individuals self-manage and self-source medication abortion, as well as the impact of increasing telehealth access to abortion services.”
This event was hosted by Dr. April Lockley and covered a variety of topics, including the process of performing a medical abortion, while reminding attendees that abortion access is for all regardless of gender identity, adding that trans men need access to abortion too.
The seminar centralized on the two main drugs used in a medical abortion: mifepristone and misoprostol. The Zoom call discussed the efficacy of these drugs when used to “remove” a pregnancy, what to expect when taking these drugs for an abortion, how late in gestation these drugs can be used, the process of using the drugs to perform the abortion, side effects of the drugs, and signs to know that the drugs were working “properly.” The call also provided resources for self-managed abortion, including planCpills.org/guide, which provides guidance to accessing abortion pills based on the state in which you reside.
The meeting was not only given approval by the university to be put on by Medical Students for Choice, but it was also sent out in a mass email to university employees and students and was advertised on the College of Medicine’s website. The university did issue a disclaimer regarding the event, noting that the views did not reflect those of Texas A&M University, the system, or the administration.
However, the fact that the event was allowed to continue puts students attending and hosting this event at the risk of breaking Texas law, which does not allow medical providers to prescribe the pills discussed in the Zoom meeting to women within the state, and using telehealth to prescribe abortion pills and mailing prescription abortifacients in Texas is illegal.
“What we saw today was a shameful and unnecessary promotion for illegal and unsafe abortions by the Medical Students for Choice organization,” said Grace Howat of Pro-Life Aggies. “Pro-Life Aggies is dedicated to aid women in making safe and life-affirming decisions for them and their child. We have resources, such as childcare, financial help, and information for free medical and material care available for pregnant and parenting students. We want students to know that you are never alone and abortion isn’t your only option.”
Texas A&M has released no further information on this topic, but expect to see more public outcry over this in the weeks to come. Texas A&M University officials have contacted Young America’s Foundation, who first broke the story, asking them to change their article’s wording, since the administration disagrees with the portrayal that they promoted the event.
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