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The Carletonian

Carleton’s Students for Reproductive Freedom protest Northfield Women’s Center

On Thursday, April 27, Carleton’s Students for Reproductive Freedom (SRF) held a protest at the Northfield Women’s Health Center. In a campus-wide email, organizers called for students to “join us in protesting against a Crisis Pregnancy Center, a fake abortion clinic” and led students on a march from Sayles to the nearby Women’s Center.

SRF has the stated goal of providing “pro-choice activism opportunities” and offering “events every term that will allow for campus-wide discussion to be paired with student activism promoting reproductive justice frameworks.” SRF’s mission statement also references its close connection with NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, a statewide organization dedicated to providing abortion access.

In the campus-wide email, organizers Anna Center ’23 and Abby Banks ’23 wrote, “We believe that everyone should have access to accurate and unbiased medical information, and that it is unacceptable for organizations to use deceptive tactics to manipulate people seeking reproductive healthcare. We welcome everyone who wants to join us in standing up for reproductive justice and access to accurate healthcare information. It is crucial that we make our voices heard and show our solidarity with those who have been affected by fake abortion clinics.”

The organizers declined to comment on the record, citing their connection with Pro-Choice Minnesota.

The Northfield Women’s Center does not advertise itself as an abortion clinic nor as an abortion provider, instead offering pregnancy testing, STD testing and ultrasounds free of charge. In fact, the organization’s website emphasizes the medical risks of abortion and encourages


those considering abortion to “ensure you are taking all of the necessary precautions before making your choice.” The website includes six items on its abortion safety checklist: 1) “confirm your pregnancy”; 2) “learn how far along you are”; 3) “get tested for STDs”; 4) “understand the risks”; 5) “educate yourself on each option”; 6) “take some time.”

More than thirty students participated in the protest. Most were from Carleton, though several members of St. Olaf’s Students for Reproductive Rights joined as well. Carls and Oles alike commented on what brought them to the protest.

“I’ve never liked the amount of overreach and control that laws have over actions that have no actual harm against other people’s lives,” said Barry Nwike ‘25. “I wanted to challenge the narrative around abortion that it is an ‘evil thing’ and that if you do it you’re a bad person. That narrative is just trying to control people.”

“Near where I live, there are two Planned Parenthoods, and it’s been really helpful to know that me or my friends would have somewhere to go,” said Alex Tananbaum ‘25. “So it’s really weird coming [to Northfield] and knowing the only option to walk to is the Northfield Women’s Center. So hearing that it’s a ‘fake clinic’ and that I’d have to get in a car and have a conversation with someone to get healthcare that is very necessary was upsetting. So I want people to know that this isn’t a place to go if you’re feeling vulnerable and that there are other options.”

“I’m here for a personal reason,” said Collin Kelso ‘25. “I’m 20 now. When I was 18, I had a scare in that sense, and I considered going to one of these places back home for advice. Thank God there was no actual pregnancy, because if there was, and I’d gone to a place like this, who knows where I’d be — and who knows where the girl would be?”

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