To the Editor:

We in Reproductive Rights Action League at Yale would like to thank you for highlighting reproductive health in “Abortion at Yale: free and controversial” (1/27). At a time when abortion is at the forefront of our country’s social and political discourse, we hope the level of discussion on this at Yale can match the level of discussion nationwide. Engaging in such an open dialogue requires that individuals have access to accurate information about all sides. RALY would like to take this opportunity to dispel any misconceptions about our policies that may have been suggested in this article.

It is true that we do not engage in debate on the right to choose. We believe reproductive autonomy is a basic human right that ensures individuals the ability to make decisions based on personal beliefs. Our goal is not to strike down the position of any group. Rather, it is to protect the freedom to follow one’s convictions when faced with reproductive decisions.

While it is our policy not to debate, we must distinguish between debate and open dialogue. Contrary to the statement that RALY does not engage “in dialogue of any sort,” we are receptive to discussion about reproductive options with all groups. Last year, we collaborated with Choose Life at Yale to research options for Yale women seeking to carry pregnancy to term for our “Know Your Options” brochure. Like Geoff Ellis of CLAY, we are “concerned for pregnant women and doing what is … best for women in general.” We welcome collaboration with any group toward that end.

Rachel Criswell and Eve Fine

Jan. 28, 2006

The writers are co-coordinators of RALY.