Willamette Rocks Coat Hanger Campaign
Rob Cadigan is a member of Willamette University Students For Choice,
the Choice USA chapter at Willamette University in Oregon where he is a
Junior in the College of Liberal Arts. Here, he writes about a recent
awareness campaign in preparation for a state lobby day.
"The Coat Hanger Campaign is a hands on educational event sponsored by Willamette University Students For Choice. Students For Choice created a dialog about reproductive justice and freedom by looking to the oppression of our past as we celebrate the choices we have today and the freedom our future has to offer. The event is based on historical documentation about the ways that desperate women often took abortion into their own hands because of laws prohibiting the procedure. During this prohibition of abortion countless women died of illegal, unsafe back alley abortions, or self induced abortions using sharp metal objects such as coat hangers or knitting needles.
Hannah Wells, another Chapter Leader, described the event by saying, “We wanted to sent the message to the community that we will not return to an era of oppression and unnecessary death”. The campus was very accepting of the event and over 90 students, professors, and community members participated.
We invited people to write a message about why they are pro-choice, or how they feel about the restrictions our government has placed on abortion and reproductive rights. The coat hangers were displayed at Oregon’s pro-choice lobby day on March 15th where over 300 pro-choice Oregonians were able to see the messages the Willamette community has expressed, as well as some legislators."
Congratulations to Rob and the other leaders at Willamette for an outstanding campaign.