Undiscussed’s recent lecture series about abortion created a forum for students to hear from a pro-life and pro-choice advocates. Samaa Abdurraqib, a reproductive freedom organizer and a former Bowdoin professor and Oamshri Amarasingham spoke at the College on Thursday. 
Alexander Sukles ’17 said he appreciated Undiscussed’s efforts in bringing more than one viewpoint to campus.

“I feel many groups invite speakers that will support their viewpoint and not any opposing ones,” he said,  “Undiscussed, being something that wishes to bring discussion, is doing a very good job of going beyond the Bowdoin norm.”

Alice Wang ’15 also noted that the lecture series was successful because it reached out to a large audience.

“I think a lot of people knew what was happening and a lot of people wanted to see what Kristan [Hawkins] had to say and are excited about the talk,” Wang said.

Hawkins is the president of pro-life organization Students For Life of America. She delivered a lecture that provoked a protest from a small group of students at the College last Thursday. 
Co-president of Undiscussed Quinn Rhi ’15 said she believes that the true gauge of the lecture series’ success will come today during the discussion portion, which will take place at 1:30 p.m. in MacMillan House. 

“I think the success is difficult to gauge mostly because it is mostly culminating in an event that we are having [today],” she said.

She hopes the lectures gave students “a starting point—a point to think about how these issues are relevant to our campus and to people in our community.” 

The second half of the lecture series brought Abdurraqib and Amarasingham of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine (ACLU) to campus. 

Abdurraqib specializes in outreach and public education about women’s reproductive rights. Amarasingham serves as public policy counsel for the ACLU. 

“Reproductive rights, reproductive health and reproductive justice are all issues that are constantly in the daily conversation in many places,” said Amarasingham. “I think it is important for us to remember that young people and college students on college campuses are very much engaged in this issue and eager to learn.”

Unlike the pro-life lecture last week, there was not a protest before Abdurraqib and Amarasingham’s lecture and the number of students that attended the talk was smaller. 
Abdurraqib and Amarasingham took turns discussing current issues in the area of reproductive rights.

Amarasingham focused on the legal history of reproductive rights and explained the relevant legislature. She mentioned court cases in which abortion and reproductive rights were called into question, including Roe v. Wade. 

Abdurraqib highlighted the ways abortion is affecting the lives of women across the country and the stigma that prevents people from discussing the topic. 

“I think right now we are seeing a struggle for reproductive rights that we haven’t seen in previous years,” said Abdurraqib. “I think it’s really relevant to young people.”

Abdurraqib said she hopes students take interest in the shifting reproductive rights education.
“I think that it is a problem to tell women that they can’t make their own decisions about their own bodies,” she said. “I think women have the right to bodily autonomy.”

Abdurraqib also said that it was important to end the stigma surrounding abortion. 

“I think it’s really important for us to not shame women for the choices they make about their bodies,” she said. 

In Maine, abortions are legal until the fetus is viable outside the womb.

Amarasingham and Abdurraqib were joined by Kate Brogan, vice president for public affairs at Family Planning Association of Maine during a question and answer session that followed their lecture. 

Brogan said that women need to learn abort contraception instead of simply learning about abstinence.