After lying dormant since 2010, the Reproductive Rights Action League at Yale will reclaim its pro-choice voice on campus.

RALY’s revival comes on the heels of heated discussion regarding Choose Life at Yale that arose in April, after the pro-life organization was denied full membership in Dwight Hall’s Social Justice Network. RALY President Isabella D’Agosto ’16 said she reinstated the group not as a counter to Yale’s pro-life organizations, but to create an outlet for pro-choice activism that she herself had trouble finding on campus. The group currently has 25 members. RALY’s deadline for applications for its committee member positions was Sunday.

“I don’t think there is enough discussion that has to do with the student majority pro-choice [stance],” D’Agosto said. “I think the idea of discussion of reproductive rights is inherently linked to women’s empowerment, which I would personally like to see the University focus upon more directly.”

RALY aims to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right and to encourage pro-choice discussion at Yale on the campus-wide, citywide and national level, D’Agosto said. She added that in order to educate students about their reproductive health options, the group will look to compile a cohesive guide to reproductive health services and policies at Yale.

RALY will also partner with the Planned Parenthood clinic in New Haven and offer to accompany students who want to visit the facility. D’Agosto said she hopes these services will effectively increase transparency and provide support.

“I would hope the organization becomes something that individuals can turn to when there is confusion,” she said.

Because the issue of reproductive rights has sparked widespread national debate recently, D’Agosto said the group may invite outside speakers to raise awareness about policy and legislation.

The organization, D’Agosto said, is currently in the process of applying for Dwight Hall membership and to become a Women’s Center resident group.

CLAY President Elena Gonzalez ’15 said she hopes RALY’s presence will foster more open and honest dialogue about reproductive issues on campus. If both groups respect all the perspectives on abortion, she said, they could engage in productive discussions. They could also work together on certain issues, such as ending the stigmatization of young and unmarried pregnant women and mothers, Gonzalez added.

But Gonzalez also said she was concerned about the possibility that RALY might be accepted as a full member of Dwight Hall in the future.

“I would hope that Dwight Hall would make an effort to be clear about the definition of ‘social justice’ that they promote, rather than presenting themselves as an umbrella organization for all social justice endeavors,” Gonzalez wrote in an email to the News.

Dwight Hall Public Relations Coordinator Shea Jennings ’16 said the Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee has not yet voted on granting RALY provisional membership, a temporary yearlong status and pre-condition to full membership. Last spring, after a year of provisional membership status, CLAY was ultimately denied full membership when the Dwight Hall cabinet — comprised of member group leaders and the executive committee — voted against CLAY.

Though Jennings said she could not comment on any group currently lacking formal affiliation with Dwight Hall, she said last year’s events and the cabinet decision regarding CLAY would not impact any subsequent decision about RALY. Because RALY has not yet attained provisional membership, she said it is impossible to tell whether the group will even seek full membership in a year’s time. The composition of the Dwight Hall cabinet could also change depending on student leadership transitions, she said, adding that this prevents her from making any predictions.

“The body that voted on CLAY last spring will not be the same body that votes on RALY, should that vote even come up in the future,” Jennings said. “It’s hard to say.”

Women’s Center Public Relations Coordinator Annemarie McDaniel ’16 said RALY has been discussing the possibility of becoming a program affiliated to the Center. She added that although RALY has not yet begun the application process, the Women’s Center is pleased about the group’s launch and future projects. The Women’s Center, McDaniel said, would also be willing to support or supplement RALY’s efforts in the future.

RALY registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office on Sep. 26.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Reproductive Rights Action League at Yale only has one member. In fact, RALY has recruited 25 members so far.

  • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

    “After lying dormant since 2010…”

    You’ve got it all wrong: Pro-abortion activists have been lying actively since 1916.

    Margaret Sanger opened the first ABC (American Birth Control) clinic in Harlem in 1930. Its progeny, as it were, today known as Planned Parenthood, helps “terminate” nearly one out of every two African American babies conceived (at a tidy profit: $540MM tax dollars last year; 327k abortions).
    https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0080.pdf
    https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0101.pdf

    As Ms. Sanger argued in “We Must Breed a Race of Thoroughbreds,” birth control “bureaus” should be established “to breed out of the race the scourges of transmissible disease, mental defect, poverty, lawlessness, crime… since these classes would be decreasing in number instead of breeding like weeds.”
    –Letter to Mr. C. Harold Smith (New York Evening World), which included her essay, 7 May 1929, Margaret Sanger Collection, LoC

    In NYC in 2012, more Black babies were “terminated” (31,328) than born there (24,758), 42% of all NYC abortions, according to the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/vs/vs-pregnancy-outcomes-2012.pdf

    “The most dangerous place for an African American to be is in the womb.”
    –Rev. Clenard Childress
    http://www.blackgenocide.org/

  • Guest

    You’ve got it all wrong: Pro-abortion activists have been lying actively since 1973.

    [Edited for censors]

  • Guest

    Do I detect the ushering in of the “Hillary for President” groundwork?

  • charliewalls

    I am glad to see active voices supporting Pro-Choice. It is the law of the land and a valuable freedom — the freedom to act your own conscience. There are sensible boundaries. Those opposed so often propel their position on emotive half-truths and deceits, being free to make their own decisions for themselves but offensive in pushing their thoughts on the decisions of others.

    • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

      Yes, if only those affected–nascent humans: mostly female, mostly minority– were free to make THEIR own decisions regarding THEIR own bodies, whether those decisions qualified as “conscious” or not.

      What would you decide?

      It’s illegal in CT to addle a wild goose egg, but not a human embryo. Priorities.

      (And, yes, I support freedom to contracept and freedom to adopt; and, no, my views are not rooted in Biblical exhortation.)

      • concerned

        Well Yalensis, until such time as human reproduction mutates to pop out shell-covered, hours-old embryos for you to incubate to maturity, er–hatching, I think you should accept the decision of women to terminate unwanted pregnancies as part of their own health care priorities.

        • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

          Why not? Humans terminate one another every day: clearly it’s accepted. (Syria? And, yes, I oppose the death penalty, thank you very much.) Of course one wonders why *certain* kinds of human termination are not better avoided, to sidestep any ethical dilemmas, let’s say. And also to reduce or avoid possible acceptance of abortion-as-contraception (in particular Russia, South Africa, U.K.)

          Strangely, I am not necessarily for the banning of abortion, but I am certainly against its [promotion? Does that work?] or — as [may potentially] happen on, oh, I dunno, certain college campuses — its assumption as the first/best/only response to unintended pregnancy.

  • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

    If “low-income women” refuse to prioritize their health care above, I dunno, cell phones; if parents are too self-absorbed/ignorant to educate their own children and prefer to cede that “responsibility” to some gubmint “elites”; and if by “reality based” you mean capitulation to the idea the humans are animals and cannot control their urges, then, sure.

    Wal-Mart offers birth control at $10 for a three-month supply: http://i.walmartimages.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/customer_list.pdf So, $3.33/month, far less than the free school lunch they already get: I’m okay with that. Indeed, why not just make it part of the free lunch program?

    And “reality based” education? I like your thinkin’: Treat like children those “low income” people who allow themselves to be treated that way; those who refuse to be treated like children can always choose to opt out by, you know, “parenting” and like that.