On Thursday, October 24, SWI (Students for Women's Issues) had a meeting in room 111 (Lane Center) on birth control. This topic of discussion may have been brought forth with homecoming in mind. From the many discussions going around on campus, it does little to say that many students plan on making some risky decisions. Luckily SWI is around to assist somewhat in the decision making progress. Although the sessions usually begin with the officers Danielle Hill (secretary), Essence Mosely (president), and Annabelle Busia (vice president) speaking, this meeting began differently. Guest speaker Shannon D. Weiss (Women’s Health Nurse Practioner) came in to give a well-informed lecture on the many ways to prevent pregnancy.
Shannon was very prepared for her presentation, and seemed to be enjoying herself. There was a PowerPoint for the meeting listing many of the pros and cons of each birth control device. Shannon divided the options into two categories: hormonal and non-hormonal. An example of a hormonal birth control option would be a Vaginal Ring. Once placed inside of the vagina it stops the woman from ovulating (it absorbs hormones). It is soft, flexible, and stays in for 3 weeks, but it may cause spotting (unscheduled bleeding), and breast tenderness. An example of a non-hormonal birth control option would be the Paragard. It lasts up to a surprising 10 years and uses copper to assist in the prevention of pregnancy, but may cause infection and weight gain.
The meeting was very enlightening and interesting. The small room was full of very interactive women and men. Many questions were asked, and jokes were told. Anyone walking towards the back room might have thought that there were a bunch of friends relaxing and having a fun conversation. “I think it’s wonderful that people want to participate on women’s issues discussions,” she stated when asked how she feels about SWI. “Pregnancy prevention is important. It helps create stability.”
When Ms. Weiss left the podium, President Mosely made her way to the front of the room with a few messages of her own. She asked the group what was the difference between birth control and abortion. The room was silent for a moment, probably because abortion is a very touchy subject. But the moment was only a moment, and soon many people were speaking. Everyone agreed that birth control was the prevented egg fertilizing, and abortion was the elimination of a fertilized egg. Mosely went on to ask if a woman should have a choice in abortion. The men in the room said nothing, but a few women said yes. Then Mosely asked a question that many people ask, but never have an official answer to.
“If women should have a choice, then why shouldn't men?”
This question seemed to bring the meeting to its high point The president brought forth the fact that although the club mainly focuses on women’s issues, she also wanted the organization to touch on men’s issues as well. She is not dismissive of the struggle men, because the group mostly talks about the struggle of women. Lastly, a video on birth control for men was played, and the president asked the men in the group if it was something they would be interested in trying it. Few responded, but the ones who did thought it was an interesting.