At an abortion awareness event held Monday on the Plaza of the Americas, speakers told Gators abortion is something college women and men both have a stake in.
Kendra Vincent, chairwoman of the Gainesville chapter of the National Women’s Liberation, said the event was a response to some of the legislation that has been proposed and passed in other states that some women’s rights activists believe were put in place to impede abortion.
“They know they can’t overturn Roe v. Wade,” Vincent said, “so they’re chipping away at it.”
The speak-out was meant to raise awareness on campus and attract as many people as possible, Vincent said.
“The idea behind this is that women are really the experts when it comes to making decisions about their body, about health care, about whether or not they want to have children or when they want to have children,” Vincent said.
Katie Walters, one of the featured speakers, said she had an abortion five years ago while she was in college.
She said she knew an abortion was something she had to do, and with help from her friend, who worked at an abortion clinic, she was able to make the process as easy as possible.
“You just expect it to be this really awful thing, and it really wasn’t,” Walters said.
Patrick Runfeldt, a UF English senior, attended the speak-out and said he agreed with what the women said.
“I don’t know anything about being pregnant,” Runfeldt said. “There is no way that any man should be able to decide the rights of people who are in childbearing situations.”
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 2/18/2014 under the headline "UF abortion advocates gather on campus to speak out"]