New group formed to voice opinions about women’s rights

Sarah Stukenborg

The images of aborted fetuses that Hilltoppers for Life showed at Centennial Mall last semester prompted some students to form a new group.

After seeing those photographs, Alvaton junior Hilary Harlan, along with a few other students, decided to start an organization called Hilltoppers for Choice in order to voice an opposing opinion for WKU students.

“We need another voice on campus; a more accepting voice,” Harlan said.

Hilltoppers for Choice began toward the end of the fall 2012 semester. According to Harlan, it is an organization that promotes women’s rights — the right to have a choice and different contraceptive options.

“The main reason is to inform people and have a safe base in which to discuss those issues,” Harlan said.

Louisville sophomore Elizabeth Gribbins, a member of Hilltoppers for Choice, said the group formed in response to seeing the images.

“We thought it was important for people around campus to see both sides of the abortion issue,” Gribbins said. “There needs to be more visibility for women’s health care and women’s rights.”

Hilltoppers for Choice has many discussions as a group having to do with abortion and a woman’s reproductive decisions. The discussions consist of both on and off-campus issues.

The group is sponsored by Jane Olmsted, a professor in the gender and women’s studies department.

Winston, Ga. junior Leah Railey, another founding member of Hilltoppers for Choice, explained that the group was meant to be the first step toward discussion.

“We just wanted to give the student body a fixed space to talk about reproductive rights,” Railey said.

Every now and then, the organization will have discussions open to the whole campus. Currently, Hilltoppers for Choice is planning a discussion with Health Services about sexual health.

Health Services representatives will be available at the discussion to answer student questions. The date of the discussion is set for March 26, but the location is still being determined.

Shepherdsville senior John Sohl, president of Hilltoppers for Life, said he is excited about the creation of Hilltoppers for Choice.

“It’s exciting to know that our attempt at creating healthy dialogue is working,” Sohl said. “We would love to partner with them for an open debate so that both sides can be heard fairly in a public forum.”

Hilltoppers for Choice is also working on an art project to display on campus in the near future.