Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Reproductive Justice Petitioning

Jacob Gifford
The club provided a variety of stickers, pins, and candy for students to take. They also provided a QR code that links you to then petition to urge the WSU administration to provide accessible and affordable abortion access on campus.

October is a time of advocacy for many people and groups, but for the WSU students for Reproductive Justice club, October is particularly important. The last full week of October was the Advocates for Youth’s Abortion of Campus Week of Action. The reproductive justice club coordinated events and educational materials to follow along with the plans that the Campus Week of Action had outlined.

Along with educating students during the final week of October, board members of the reproductive justice club talked about asking WSU to provide easier Plan B and emergency contraceptive access across the campus. They also discussed working with the Winona community to provide easier abortion access. As it was the Advocates for Youth’s Abortion of Campus Week of Action, the reproductive justice club decided to have a week full of events to inform and gain support around campus. Things like having a table with information on reproductive justice set up and abortion misinformation bingo being some of the events.

The Reproductive Justice Club petitioned for abortion access at Kryzsko Commons on October 26, 2023. (Jacob Gifford)

Third year chemistry major, Karina Kpahn, is the reproductive justice club’s co-president. She helps educate students on the importance of having access to abortions in the Winona community.

“One point I reiterated while I was tabling is that it is an almost 3-hour drive to the cities and a 4-hour ride when using public transportation to get to the nearest abortion clinics (Whole Woman’s Health in Bloomington and Planned Parenthood in St. Paul),” Kpahn said. “Not everyone has the time to make those trips and balance schoolwork on top.”

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However, Kpahn found that it’s not just about time and balance when it comes to abortion access on campus. With the recent overturning of Roe v Wade, Minnesota had quickly become a haven for people from surrounding states with more strict abortion restrictions.

“I think that Minnesota becoming a safe haven state for abortions is why it matters even more to fight for reproductive healthcare on college campuses,” Kpahn said. “WSU has students coming from states like Wisconsin where there are abortion restrictions so to have an easier time accessing care would only help the student body.”

With the nearest clinic being hours away from WSU, many students are effectively barred from getting care they need regarding emergency contraceptives like abortion. This distance can make it difficult for students to get the care they want or need and impacts reproductive justice on campus.

Marissa Meyer, a first-year psychology major at WSU found that access to contraceptives on campus and abortion access closer to Winona is good for WSU students to have.

“I think it’s a really good thing and that people should have access to these things,” Meyer said. “People should have the choice of what they want to do with their bodies and if they don’t want to have a baby, they shouldn’t have to have a baby.”

As the name of the club suggests, the club provides a space for students to discuss issues that directly impact reproductive justice and equality. It is meant to be a place where like-minded people can meet, connect and help with justice. Though their recent fight has been for easier emergency contraceptive access around WSU and Winona, any issues that impact reproductive justice are important to the club and its members.

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About the Contributors
Alayna Majkrzak, News Reporter
Alayna Majkrzak (she/they) is a first-year at Winona State University and is a news reporter here at The Winonan. Majkrzak is a CALT (Communication, Arts, and Literature Teaching) major and is minoring in theatre.   In their spare time, they enjoy crocheting, reading and writing. Though, all these activities are preferably done in a comfortable sweater while listening to their favorite playlist or watching Ghost Adventures. Back at home, Majkrzak was involved in their school newspaper for four years, and they are incredibly excited to continue their passion for honesty through journalism in college.  
Jacob Gifford, Features Writer

Jacob Gifford (They/He) is a photographer and a features writer for the Winonan and started in fall 2023. Jacob is in his third year at Winona State and is studying Psychology with a minor in Philosophy and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies.

Besides working for The Winonan, Jacob is also the Vice president of Philosophy Club at Winona State.

In his free time, Jacob enjoys hanging out with friends, longboarding, playing videogames, and writing and playing music. Jacob also enjoys going to concerts of local bands.

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