- Leslie De La Rosa, Marvin Lopez, & Corey Bravo Sloan
Statement & Speeches from Hamilton Reproductive Freedom Protest
The following statements or speeches were provided to the Monitor to be published in this issue and are specifically related to the national Reproductive Freedom Protest that was founded at Hamilton. Leslie De La Rosa '25's statement was written to be included in an article for the Hill but was not used in the published article. Marvin Lopez '23's and Corey Bravo Sloan '25's speeches were read at the May 5th protest. These pieces are published here as they were provided to us unedited except to work with the formatting of our website unless noted by the author.
Leslie De La Rosa '25
I was immediately frustrated when I heard that Roe v. Wade had been up for discussion to be overturned. Women, particularly women of color, have worked valiantly for our rights throughout history. Women of color have been chastised and mistreated on numerous levels for generations. I'm here today to assist preserve the rights of future generations of women of color. I am a strong, independent Afro-Latina/American woman who will have to fight for herself if the government that is supposed to protect us fails to do so. I grew up in a Black/Latinx community where I was appreciated and respected, but I always knew that once I left, I would have to battle for my equal rights on a daily basis. We are women, we are people, we are humans! We deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as every white cisgender man in this nation. Being a woman is a constant battle in this world, and I refuse to continue living alongside the laws that continue to oppress us; so I will fight, no matter how long it takes.
Marvin Lopez '23, Student Assembly Vice President
This statement has been modified from its original form after consultation with individuals from the Hamilton community and with published resources.
I am a 21-year-old, cisgender, gay man. Since I was old enough to understand, I recognized
that the issue of reproductive freedom impacted important people in my life-- namely the women that helped make me who I am. Still, the issue of reproductive freedom transcends women's rights. Every single person is impacted.
Reproductive freedom goes beyond issues of sex, gender identity, gender expression, and
sexual orientation. It is about bodily autonomy-- about our right to govern our own bodies. It is about standing up against the local, state, and federal governments when they try to make
decisions regarding bodies that are not their own.
Growing up, I always supported the cause. I spoke to friends and family about the "correct” side to take. I’d make my stance known when anti-choice discussions would happen around me. But my efforts ended there.
Anti-choice men have made their stance loud and clear. Not only that, but many cisgender,
anti-choice men are the individuals directly writing, promoting, and passing much of the
anti-choice rhetoric that plagues this conversation. It is long overdue for pro-choice men to
reciprocate that energy. We must take a definitive stance. We must employ relentless tactics.
They are... why shouldn't we?
The health of our parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, and more is currently in their hands. We must take it back.
The potential overturning of Roe v. Wade will set the pro-choice movement back decades. What basic rights are next? If the anti-choicers are successful in overturning Roe v. Wade, how long will it be until the next majority opinion is leaked?
I urge you to stand up and activate yourself and those around you in the pro-choice movement.
Marvin Lopez ‘23
Corey Bravo Sloan '25
Hi everyone. My name is Corey Bravo Sloan and I use he/they pronouns. I’m a Latino trans Jew from NYC, and I’m so grateful to have this platform.
I’m so glad to see so many people here.
I’m, according to the planning google doc, here to talk about the perspective of trans people as it has to do with reproductive freedom.
But before I get into it, I think it’s important to make something clear. Trans people are not your tokens. I am not your diversity card. I am not here to bolster your protest’s diversity, to make your protest more well-rounded. I am not here to make you and your protest seem trans-inclusive.
It was asked at the teach-in yesterday if any “people with uteruses who aren’t women” wanted to speak today. And to be honest, I don’t understand why we weren’t part of this from the outset. Why we had to be part of an open call. Are trans people not a part of your intersectional feminism, your reproductive freedom, from the outset? This is evidence of a larger problem of Hamilton’s campus and society at large ostracizing or, when allowing us to speak, not actually valuing but tokenizing trans people. This is not a call-out. It can be, I guess. But I just needed to say that.
And look, I’m here, speaking, nonetheless. Because I think, I hope, that a trans person speaking is better than a trans person not speaking at all. But I will make something very clear before I continue. I am not your pawn. I am not your token. I am not speaking on behalf of any organization right now. I am speaking on behalf of the trans people I know. Of myself. Because reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are vital to trans people in our intersectional existence, not as or because we are an afterthought.
Okay. I’ll be actually getting started now. What I am about to share isn’t just the “complaints” of one person. It’s not even just the thoughts and experiences of three people. And it’s not just “complaints.” These are real issues that impact real people.
In a conversation about reproductive rights, not enough focus is placed on the language we use. It’s easy to push it aside as “not that deep,” but in the words of one of the people I consulted for this speech, it is in fact that deep. This isn’t just trans people being nit picky, or being sensitive, or unjustly centering ourselves in a conversation about cis women. This is, however, trans people asking to finally be heard in this conversation.
Focusing on language in a conversation about laws is not only valid, but vital. If the law used to codify Roe v. Wade doesn’t explicitly protect trans access to abortion, trans people will lose access to abortion. Lawmakers and healthcare providers alike will find that loophole and abuse it. Abuse trans people. They are already doing so in other legislation around the country.
Trans peoples’ inability to access healthcare leaves us exposed to violence, not just from the protesters commonly stationed outside reproductive healthcare facilities, but also things like being refused medical care, being misgendered by a healthcare provider — which isn’t just insensitive, but could and does lead to further harm enacted by that/those providers — as well as receiving inaccurate diagnoses, facing uncomfortable and probing questions/judgment, and at large receiving already hypothetically traumatic medical treatment in a trauma-inducing setting.
I’m scared. I’m afraid that I’ll, one day, need an abortion, and will have lost access to it. Lost access to a support network. Lost the right to both things. Everything. Because when cis women lose their autonomy, mine, as a trans person, goes right with it.
In a conversation about bodily autonomy, there has got to be a focus on trans people. On how trans people have our autonomy at best violated, or, at worst, taken away from us— not just by legislators, not just by healthcare providers, but also by the very people who claim to be standing up for our rights.
Further, a direct line can be drawn between the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the anti-trans laws popping up all over the country. It’s all a matter of controlling people. For this reason, too, it’s important to include trans people in your reproductive rights activism. And to change your language around it.
Not just women get abortions. Not all women can get pregnant. Not all people who can get pregnant are women. And, therefore, not all people who get abortions are women, or fall under “women and femmes” or “women (cis, trans, gender non-conforming).”
The people who the overturning of Roe v. Wade will most disastrously affect are those who fall into multiple intersections of marginalized identity: low-income people, people of color, disabled people, etc.
This includes trans people. Trans people get abortions. It’s not just limited to cis women. Women and femmes. Or cis, trans, gender non-conforming women. However you want to say it. This language leaves out the very people you’re claiming to want to protect.
Change your language. Change how you advocate. Who you advocate for. Change your thinking.
Most importantly? Don’t forget trans people exist. We’re some of the most vulnerable among you.