In 2021, MSFC continued to experience a wave of interest, with new chapters popping up in new areas across the world. We asked two student leaders some questions to gain their insight into why they decided to start a chapter at their university. Here’s what they had to say:
What made you want to start an MSFC chapter at your university?
There was a gap in access to reproductive health services and information including abortion care. There was no student-driven kind of arrangement available to enhance mentorship, leadership, and service provision for reproductive health, including abortion. So, when I was informed by the late student leader Rossette about MSFC and what it does, I fell in love with the idea and wanted to engage in MSFC in my time as a medical student to apply reproductive health knowledge in my practice. Most importantly, it looked like a grand opportunity for me to exercise my potentials in leadership, organization, and networking here at home and abroad.Henry, Student Leader, MSFC Chapter in Soroti, Uganda
I attended the Reproductive Justice Leadership Program offered by AMSA last semester; it was an enlightening experience. I couldn’t believe that my education had been lacking so much that the stigma around Family Planning, being in control of our bodies no matter our race or gender, is being dictated by people who aren’t educated on what each community needs and is biased towards what they believe. I wanted to bring MSFC to my university and region so that we could start the conversation so that we could become more open-minded to any future patient’s needs.Olivia, Student Leader, American University of the Caribbean
Why is it important that sexual and reproductive health (SRH) advocacy and education be brought to your campus (or region)?
My university is a community with over 90% of its students in their reproductive age. This implies a necessity for access to reproductive health information, education, and services. Although many university students are not minors, I mean they have their beliefs and rights. So, it is important that they are empowered to be able to come up with informed decisions on aspects such as abortion, Family planning, and belonging to LGBT community or not.Henry, MSFC Chapter in Soroti, Uganda
It’s important to have this level of advocacy and education in my region because a lot of us want to learn, but we don’t have access to the resources, and a lot of hospitals don’t offer the training provided by MSFC. Even if the training is never used, it’s important to have it so that we can guide our future patients to what is best for them, even if that is outside of our personal comfort zone. I think that this should be a part of our school curriculum so that we are able to help any patient we have.Olivia, American University of the Caribbean
How does being an MSFC student leader align with your future plans (Career, Interests, or other)?
I am a medic, and my life will be medicine as I want to pursue being a medical specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology and public health. I realized being an MSFC leader puts me at the forefront of all the activities which are a reflection the experience needed in those fields.Henry, MSFC Chapter in Soroti, Uganda
My future plans include being a trauma surgeon or disaster medicine ER physician. So, while I might never encounter a patient that needs guidance about sexual and reproductive health or an emergency abortion, I don’t want to limit my education on something that may benefit the one patient out of a hundred. I want to be able to provide the best care I can to any patient that I encounter and make them feel heard and understood.Olivia, American University of the Caribbean
If you or someone you know is interested in starting an MSFC chapter at your school, visit our Get Involved webpage for more information.