UMass Amherst to offer abortion medication to students | News


The University of Massachusetts Amherst will soon have abortion medication available at its health center.

AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The University of Massachusetts Amherst will soon have abortion medication available at its health center.

“I think it’s a problem we’ve discussed and almost I think, for the most part, generally solved where abortion is acceptable across the country,” said UMass Amherst graduate student Brendan Retalic.

UMass Amherst students reacted Friday to the recent announcement that starting in the fall, abortion medication will be offered at the university’s health center.

“Really excited to see UMass Amherst taking the lead on this issue. It has been a long conversation,” said State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa.

Sabadosa has been campaigning for a bill that could increase access to abortion services at public universities, such as UMass Amherst, across the state.

“If we are going to be a state that says abortion is healthcare, this makes a lot of sense to students to get healthcare where they seek out healthcare, which is on-campus…Really, the point that I do want to get across is, you know, this is happening on campuses already. We’re just trying to make sure that it’s done safely and students are supported,” Sabadosa noted.

UMass Amherst’s decision marks a major victory for Sabadosa, who told Western Mass News that students at the university have limited access to abortion clinics, such as Planned Parenthood. Abortion medication can be taken to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks and involves a two-step series of pills.

Sabadosa emphasized that it is safe to take the pills at university campus clinics, where many college students reside.

“It has been tested for many, many years first in Europe and then it has about a 20-year history in the United States as well…We have conducted research that this would help about 1,000 students a year. That’s in line with the number of students who seek abortion,” Sabadosa explained.

UMass Amherst spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski told Western Mass News, in part:

“The UMass Amherst campus has a longstanding commitment to providing quality, respectful and confidential gynecological and reproductive health services. Currently, a UMass Amherst student seeking a medical abortion pill is referred by our on-campus health clinic to a regional hospital or an affiliated provider. We offer students transportation to and from the appointment to the medical provider, as we do for any student seeking a procedure not offered by the university.”

University officials told Western Mass News that students were a driving force in making the medication more easily accessible.

“This legislation was brought to me by students before I was even elected…We’re just trying to make sure students can then get the follow-up care and have a conversation with a healthcare professional that they can trust and know right there where they live,” Sabadosa added.

Retalic said, “If it is healthcare, it should be accessible, so making it easier for students to be able to access healthcare services is always a good thing, in my opinion.”

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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