A new woman’s rights group has formed on campus in response to what they feel is an overabundance of pro-life activism at Temple.
Temple’s Alliance for Reproductive Rights and Action (TARRA) had its first meeting on Friday, Oct. 18.
Temple has several pro-life groups, but TARRA is the university’s first organization dedicated solely to providing women with family planning information.
Group founders Elisa Graydon and Jessica Ruck joined together in response to anti-abortion demonstrations at Temple, such as those that occurred on Oct. 14 and 15 at the Bell Tower.
“We felt disgust over some of the pro-life rallies on campus,” Graydon said, “The idea for something positive came out of that disgust, and that was TARRA.”
According to the TARRA constitution, the group is “committed to protecting reproductive rights and choice for all women, in particular university women, by providing adequate [and] thorough educational resources and political activity through community efforts.”
“We only want to let people know about their rights and what’s available to them,” Graydon said.
TARRA’s ultimate goal is to create a 24-hour women’s center at Temple.
“All the resources for it are here on campus,” said TARRA board member Sarah Spangler, “they just need to be pulled together for a 24-hour center.”
According to Spangler, the center would be a safe place for both women on campus and in the surrounding community and would provide counseling, information on reproductive choice, emergency rape kits and birth control.
“Our center would be a place for women to go and feel comfortable,” said Graydon.
“Our group also wants to make it safer for women [to come forward about rapes] and to bring [rapists] to justice,” she added, “If more women spoke out about them, their voice would be heard and justice will happen.”
“The center will be a safe space for everyone,” Spangler said, “It’s not solely about women.”
The group plans to form coalitions with other progressive groups to build support for its cause.
“We want to be an active and inclusive force on Temple’s campus,” said Ruck.
With these alliances, TARRA hopes to bring speakers to campus to inform women about their rights and to inform students about both state and national reproductive rights issues.
“There is no hierarchy in our group. Everyone needs to take initiative, and we want to give all of our members the chance to be leaders,” Ruck said.
The group meets every other Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Anderson Hall.
For more information, contact TARRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica White can be reached at SSparkleJ1@aol.com