HERd on Reproductive Rights

Rachel Pendergast, Editor

I sat down with Olivia Hara, 12th-grade co-president of the HERd club to have an honest and open discussion about reproductive rights. Here is what she had to say about the current political climate and what you can do to support a woman’s right to choose. 


Q: What is HERd’s mission?

A: “HERd’s mission is to generally get the stigma away from the idea of women’s rights and gender equality and especially how it relates to the word feminism, which, unfortunately in our club’s description we don’t use that word because it tends to scare off a lot of people, but it is just one of the goals to just not have that stigma there. And also just to educate generally about important women in history, learn about international problems and subjects so how women’s rights are affected somewhere outside of the US, we tend to be more US-centered in our lives especially since we have a lot of people who immigrated to the US in our club who are officers so we want to make sure everyone is able to tell their stories and generally talk about what’s going on.”


Q: What is the HERd Club’s stance on Reproductive Rights?

A: “Well, it is a little unfortunate that we have to have a stance and it is not just a given thing but I mean, we genuinely do believe that whatever happens in a woman’s body should be of her own choice because we know that it directly affects women and how they interact for example if one woman has a baby that they are not ready for, it could hurt her while giving birth, before giving birth, after giving birth and it really is a decision of where the woman is in her health and where she is financially and where she is anywhere else and just generally, it should be the decision of the woman because inherently she knows what is going on with her own life the best as opposed to anyone else.”


Q: Why are reproductive rights considered under attack or under threat?

A: “The reason it is like it is inherently people want to, this is kinda a weird thing, but, a lot of the time it is because people want to control the population in the sense that a lot of abortion-related topics and stigmas are presented to white women typically because there is a need in the US for a lot of people, not me, certainly not most of the people, I would say, but a good number of people that want to keep the population mostly white and a lot of the stigma is if we keep having babies being aborted that means less white babies which means the population is less white. But also generally, there is a good number of people who believe that these women are killing their babies out of malice, they are not even babies, they are fetuses, and that they want to kill them just for fun or whatever. But genuinely, the reason why people do it is not because they want to kill a child, it is a tough decision to have an abortion, and if people think its that easy as killing life as they would say as for them life begins at conception not at literally being birthed. So there is one side that is more political but there is also this other side that genuinely believes that these women are killing fetuses out of a hatred of fetuses.”


Q: What are HERd members doing to uphold reproductive rights and women’s rights in general?

A: “Well, two weeks ago on Saturday there was a Women’s March which some of us attended and I think generally getting your voice heard is an important part, that’s not all you can do, there are more things, but for being in high school and maybe not having the money exactly to donate to certain services, that’s one thing that we can do. Where we can at least aim to educate people which is an easier goal in a school setting and generally the idea that if there is something that we can go to that would encourage having our voices heard we should try to go to it make sure that we can let people know that people are upset, that this is the situation that is going on and that we are upset that this is directly affecting us specifically because most of the HERd members are women or nonbinary, there aren’t a lot of men in the club. But, because it directly affects us it makes us scared that maybe one day we will be forced to have a child that we don’t want and then because of that we just generally need to get our voices out there as that is pretty much all we can do at this moment.”


Q: So, is there anything else that other North students can do to support the cause?

A: “They don’t have to join HERd but we generally post about opportunities coming up especially with the women’s march that was kinda like a cool thing because last year there obviously not one and that was when the club started but, generally looking up ways that you can support these specific causes so doing research on your own is always a fantastic way to support. Generally, I think listening to the news so you know what is going on then seeing any way you can support it does not necessarily have to be through monetary ways there is always petitions you can sign, you can go to events that don’t cost money, you can do so many different things that don’t really take that long but their support is immeasurable. It really does add up after a bit. So that’s something people can do. They don’t have to join HERd but if they do research on their own, that would be fantastic.”