Ohio State University's first ever sex week has come under criticism from right to life groups over its partnership with Planned Parenthood to promote abortion and other topics.
The university's Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness (SASHA) teamed up with Planned Parenthood, local adult sex emporium The Garden and others to host sex week last week.
Sex week was created “to educate our community about sexual health in all its forms," according to SASHA’s website. "We believe that realistic sexual health is interdisciplinary, and includes non-traditional topics like LGBTQ sex ed, healthy masculinity, gender equality, and reproductive rights.”
Fighting Abortion Stigma with Planned Parenthood, Kink 101, Sex Toys 101, and Period Sex with PERIOD are just a few workshops that took place during OSU’s sex week.
“Ohio State, as a publicly-funded university, should not be promoting Planned Parenthood's abortion agenda,” said Jamieson Gordon, spokeswoman for Ohio Right to Life.
Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis is calling on the Ohio General Assembly “to consider this tacit support of Planned Parenthood by OSU as they begin to look at the Ohio budget.”
Gonidakis pointed out that OSU receives tax dollars from the state and wondered if those dollars would be better spent.
"Ohio State University will likely ask for millions more of our tax dollars in this year's budget," he said. "Their support of Planned Parenthood should be enough to give Ohio's pro-life legislators pause.”
According to the sex week website, the Fighting Abortion Stigma with Planned Parenthood workshop aimed to “teach us all about reproductive freedom and the stigma that comes with it. Join us for a conversation on a tough subject.”
Jenna Wojdacz, a Planned Parenthood Community Health Educator for the Greater Ohio area, started off the discussions defining her preferred pronouns as she/her/hers, according to OSU freshman James Bai, who attended the event. Wojdacz said she was trying hard to un-gender/un-binary pregnancy, Bai said.
Wojdacz showed a Planned Parenthood video of how abortion stigma impacts both patients and providers. The video stressed that many patients who seek abortions have been told abortions are morally wrong, socially unacceptable and people may have to sell their belongings to afford an abortion, the travel expenses, and housing, the student said.
The video also told students that while at an abortion clinic, staffers might have to go over incorrect state-mandated information about abortion and share medically inaccurate information on abortion with patients, Bai said. These were some ways that enforces the abortion stigma, according to the Planned Parenthood video.
As Ohio lawmakers are considering proposed legislation that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, Wojdacz was asked by a pre-med student about a fetal heartbeat being detected as early as eight weeks into a pregnancy. In response, Wojdacz said it was a heart flutter, according to Bai, and she called the pending Ohio legislation unconstitutional.
By the end of the workshop students were equipped with ways to be allies in an effort to reduce the stigma that surrounds having or providing an abortion, Bai said.
As the workshop was closing, a policy graduate student asked when life begins, Bai said. Wojdacz responded by saying that question does not belong in reproductive rights and legislation discussions, arguing it’s a personal one, he said.