1. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
Hello, it’s nice to meet you! I am NARAL Pro-Choice CT’s newest intern. I am currently a senior majoring in Political Science and Communication and minoring in Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. This semester, I chose to finish my studies by participating in the Urban and Community Studies Department’s internship study away program in Hartford. I am really excited to dedicate my semester to the Hartford community, and to be able to work on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice CT to help protect the health and reproductive rights of Connecticut residents.
2. One of the ways we are able to organize others in the fight for reproductive freedom is to tell them why we are in this fight. What motivates you?
I am most motivated by the people around me and our collective experiences with fighting for reproductive freedom in our everyday lives. I want to eliminate the remaining stigma around the fight for reproductive freedom so that more people feel comfortable advocating for themselves and others. I believe that reproductive rights are human rights, and that this fight is everyone’s fight. We deserve the right to choose what is best for our bodies and ourselves without judgement.
3. Who is someone that inspires you in the work you do?
I am greatly inspired by a number of strong, intelligent, and fiercely compassionate womyn leaders in my life. However, I am also inspired by feminist activists and writers, such as, bell hooks. I keep a copy of her book, Feminism is for everybody: passionate politics on my desk. In this book, bell hooks wrote, “If feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression, and depriving females of reproductive rights is a form of sexist oppression, then one cannot be anti-choice and be feminist. A woman can insist she would never choose to have an abortion while affirming her support of the right of women to choose and still be an advocate of feminist politics. She cannot be anti-abortion and still be an advocate of feminism.” This quote exemplifies one of the reasons why I find bell hooks inspirational, which is that she understands the nuances of issues like reproductive rights, and knows how to challenge people who attribute stigma to these issues to expand their understanding not only of human rights, but of the human condition.
4. What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work and school?
One of my favorite things to do outside of work and school is to visit museums-- especially art museums. Some of my favorite museums in the area are The Benton and the Harriet Beecher Stowe house.
5. Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
This is one of my favorite and least favorite questions to be asked, because I am happy not to have a specific answer to it. I will say this, in 10 years I am certain that I will still be working on behalf of people, places, and things that I am passionate about. In 10 years, I will still not have a specific answer to this question, because I will continue to challenge myself to expand my understanding of the world, and I will be wherever I need to be to help create peace and justice in our global society. There are a lot of ways to make positive contributions and create sustainable change. Right now, I am applying to the UConn MPA and hoping to apply to the JD dual degree program after that.
6. Anything else you would like to share?
One class that I took at UConn that greatly inspired me to fight for reproductive rights, women’s rights, and human rights was called Women and Violence. It is listed as both a human rights class (hrts 2263) and a women’s gender and sexuality course (wgss 2263). I think that every UConn student should take this course if they can.
Author: Sarah M., University of Connecticut Student, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Intern