Protesters gathered on the steps of the Kimmel Heart for College Life on April 15 to name on the college to increase abortion protection to these with out NYU insurance coverage.
A month after NYU introduced that it might present elective abortions without charge to college students enrolled in its university-sponsored well being care plan, a bunch of scholars and school say that NYU should do extra to make sure equitable entry to the process for its complete scholar physique. Dozens of advocates gathered on the Grand Staircase of the Kimmel Heart for College Life to demand that NYU increase protection to all college students, no matter their insurance coverage supplier.
The protest was led by members of NYU’s chapter of the Younger Democratic Socialists, who have been beforehand a part of the marketing campaign that led to the college’s coverage change on elective abortions for college students with an NYU-sponsored insurance coverage plan. After months of petitioning, rallying and an open letter to Linda Mills, NYU’s incoming president, WSN reported on March 31 that college officers would get rid of co-payments on elective abortions acquired via its insurance coverage plan beginning this fall.
“NYU calls itself this progressive establishment, particularly to visiting college students or potential college students,” mentioned Lauren Muñoz, a CAS junior who’s a member of NYU YDSA and helped set up the protest. “However getting right here, you notice that they don’t all the time dwell as much as that commonplace. They’re higher than lots of colleges, in fact, however there’s nonetheless lots of work to be achieved.”
In response to the protest, NYU spokesperson John Beckman mentioned that NYU has no “authority or affect over non-NYU medical health insurance plans,” however that college students struggling to pay for an abortion can undergo the Workplace of Monetary Assist to obtain emergency funding for medical procedures, together with abortion.
Muñoz mentioned that the fund was insufficient, as it isn’t particular to reproductive care, and criticized the monetary assist workplace as “not very accessible,” particularly for time-sensitive points.
Following the college’s announcement on March 31, NYU YDSA created a petition — which garnered greater than 700 signatures — calling for abortion entry “with out price, query or delay” and demanded that NYU present a fund particularly for college students in search of abortions. The petition additionally urges NYU to offer free being pregnant exams at reproductive care merchandising machines. The college had beforehand introduced plans to inventory Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, in merchandising machines together with its abortion protection change, although it didn’t say that it supposed to make the medicine freed from price.
Clearblue, a serious producer of being pregnant exams, donated over 1,000 exams for NYU YDSA members handy out on the protest.
Whereas the vast majority of protesters have been college students, members of NYU Contract School United additionally got here to point out their assist. School additionally aimed to unfold consciousness in regards to the union, which has been demanding college recognition, to newly admitted college students and their dad and mom.
First-year Samantha Del Rio, a NYU YDSA member who participated within the demonstration, urged the college to offer free abortion entry to all college students to take away the monetary burden from people who might not produce other choices.
“We’ve got such a various group of individuals right here at NYU, we’ve individuals from crimson states, we’ve individuals from nations the place simply getting an abortion is unlawful,” Del Rio mentioned. “NYU ought to be that secure house for all these individuals who, once they return dwelling, don’t have entry to an abortion.”
Contact Michaela Seah at [email protected]