Attendees must RSVP at this link!
Prescribe Fordham 2!: Fordham’s Off-Campus Birth Control Clinic Night Returns
On October 24th from 6:00 to 9:30, a coalition of Fordham University student groups and academic departments will hold a birth control clinic and sexual health fair blocks from the school’s Lincoln Center campus, at the John Jay College Conference Center at 524 W. 59th Street.
Fordham University prohibits medical providers at its health centers from prescribing birth control and has an unwritten policy forbidding the distribution of condoms on campus. Fordham attributes these policies to its Catholic-affiliation. Though Fordham receives New York State funding on the basis of representations that it is non-denominational, medical care at Fordham is governed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
At Prescribe Fordham 2!, students can consult with uncensored doctors from the Institute for Family Health about reproductive health and disease prevention. After a medical screening and blood pressure check, the Family Institute doctors can prescribe contraceptives to students or advise them about long-acting contraceptive methods.
Fordham student insurance covers contraceptives as required by the New York Women’s Health and Wellness Act. Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), students with Fordham insurance can receive a gynecological exam off-campus from a medical provider who is under no religiously-based constraints without paying a co-payment. While this is a significant improvement for our insured students, access to contraception remains a problem for Fordham students who lack insurance (an estimated 35% according to the administration) or a doctor in New York. The Fordham health center policies are particularly problematic for students at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus due to the prevalence of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” in the Bronx, which present themselves as family planning clinics but do not provide contraception or medical care and are known to advertise on campus.
Fordham administrators and health center staff assert there is a health exception to the prescription ban, but in practice students have been turned away even with records of serious medical conditions. The administration has declined to explain what conditions justify treatment, of what severity, and who makes this determination. Many students seek health services at Planned Parenthood, taking up resources needed by uninsured and low-income patients.
Prescribe Fordham 2! is a way for members of the Fordham community to work around the expense and inconvenience that result from the University’s policies and make unknowing students aware that the University provides non-standard healthcare. It is also an opportunity to discuss the significant influence on women’s health of Catholic leaders outside the Catholic mainstream.
The event is sponsored by the Fordham Chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Fordham OUTlaws, The Institute for Women and Girls at the Graduate School of Social Service, The Women's Studies Department at Lincoln Center, The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lincoln Center, and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, the Women’s Center at John Jay College and the Reproductive Health Access Project. It is also open to students of John Jay College, the New York Institute of Technology, Seton Hall University, and St. John’s University. Students of other schools who wish to attend should email FordhamLSRJ@gmail.com.
Attendees must RSVP here.