November 17, 2020    |   Volume 2, Issue 12

TOTD: The Pro-Choice Movement

by Shiksha Sneha, WSS Intern

While Roe v. Wade (1973) is often cited in conversations about abortion, people have been having abortions since 1550 B.C. Although unsafe at that time, abortions were legal in all 50 states in the early 1800s and were not criminalized until the 1900s. With growing bans on abortions and penalizations to womxn who go through abortions, pro-choice activists took their case to the Supreme Court. With a 7-2 decision, Roe v. Wade essentially declared abortion a fundamental right, however, the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has many womxn worried about their right to choose.

One in four women will have an abortion by the age of 45. Many trans and non-binary folks will as well. 7 in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion. These numbers speak to a large consensus among the American public regarding reproductive choice. Yet, discussions on abortions are more polarized than ever and divided among party lines. Research conducted by NARAL Pro-Choice America (linked here) details how a few, powerful, anti-choice leaders have attacked reproductive freedom in the last couple years. They have established anti-choice fake health centers (crisis pregnancy centers that promise abortion services to womxn and then shame/scare them out of getting an abortion) that discourage womxn from accessing reproductive health care while also trying to stop access to birth control. From influencing judicial nominations to spreading misinformation through the media, these anti-choice advocacy groups have created immense obstacles (requirement of a psych consult, lack of insurance coverage, requiring consent from spouse/parent) for reproductive freedom in the United States. 

There are groups such as NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NOW, and ACLU who are continuously fighting for us and our right to choose. It is up to us to organize, donate if we can, and build strength and power through community for each other. There is a lot more to discuss regarding the pro-choice movement from the high maternal mortality rates , especially for Black womxn, to how the movement has been co-opted by wealthier womxn. To learn more, read some articles here: 

The Women the Pro-Choice movement left behind

Stigma around Abortion

Data around abortions in the U.S.

Health insurance and abortions

Black Women and the pro-choice movement

*Photo by Caroline Brehman, Getty Images*

Interested in sharing your own "Thought Of The Day" or TOTD? Come to WILD Wednesday or email us at

Have something to say in the WSS Weekly Zine? To submit an announcement, please email us.

In this edition of WSS Zine you'll find the following announcements...
  • Programs/Services:
    • WILD 2020 Conference a tremendous Success!
    • WILD 2020 Keynote Speeches - view now!
    • WILD 2021 Planning Committee
    • WSS Undergraduate Intern Application
    • WSS Online Office Hours
    • GWIS Picture a Scientist
    • Gender, Women's Suffrage, and Political Power: Past, Present, and Future (GWSPP) Conference
    • Transgender Awareness Month
    • Intersex Inclusion Survey
    • My Spartan Story Virtual Workshops
    • Supporting Survivors Workshop Series
    • TransMilitary Screening & Discussion
    • PPGA MSU Fall Meeting Schedule
    • John Lewis: Good Trouble Now Available
    • Help Plan the MLK, Jr. Day Student Leadership Programming
    • Center for Survivors Virtual Yoga
    • December Events at the MSU Broad
    • CAPS Connect
  • Community Heath Concern Information
  • About Women*s Student Services
Post your announcement here by emailing


Post your event here by emailing
The 2020 WILD Conference was a tremendous success! Thanks fo the incredible committee members, volunteers, program presenters, keynote speakers, and attendees for making this year's Womxn's Initiative for Leadership Development conference truly incredible! In the coming weeks, we will release recordings of the keynote speakers as well as several of the workshops from the conference for those who were not able to participate. Stay tuned to the WILD conference website for details.
Did you go  to WILD 2020? Click the button below to take our short survey & you will have a chance to win some raffle prizes!
WILD 2020 Assessment

WILD Keynote Speakers

Check out Governor Gretchen Whitmer's keynote speech here.
Check out Senator Debbie Stabenow's keynote speech here.
Check out Representative Elissa Slotkin's keynote speech here.
Check out Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha's keynote speech here
Interested in being a Women*s Student Services undergraduate intern next semester (Spring 2021)? Apply today at! Applications are due by 12/11/20. 
Along with all the staff of Student Affairs & Services, the staff of WSS is currently working remotely. We are available to meet virtually one on one via Zoom. To sign up to meet with either Heather (Director) or Gabby (Graduate Assistant), please click the links below.

To meet with Dr. Heather Shea, click on this link to go to her You Can Book Me Page to sign up for a time slot.

To meet with Gabby Wahla, click on this link to go to her You Can Book Me Page to sign up for a time slot.
GWIS Mid-Michigan Chapter, in collaboration with BMB DEI Committee, is excited to announce that we will be hosting a digital screening and discussion event of the film "Picture a Scientist".

The digital screening will be available to watch beginning Friday, November 20th, 2020 through Sunday, November 22nd, 2020 via Vimeo.

Please sign-up by Tuesday, Nov. 17th to ensure you get the screening room invitation.

The follow-up discussion event moderated by GWIS Mid-Michigan Chapter will be held on Monday, November, 23rd from 5 pm- 6 pm via Zoom.

Please fill out the registration form at

About the movie:
"PICTURE A SCIENTIST chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all." (from
Run time: 97 minutes
Closed captions are available.

For questions and accommodations please contact

Registration is now open for the Gender, Women's Suffrage, and Political Power: Past, Present, and Future (GWSPP) Conference!

Taking place November 18-21, 2020, the conference will explore the diversity of women's influence and actions in electoral politics, political power, and leadership. GWSPP is hosted by MSU’s Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen), MSU Department of History, and University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG).

Keynote Speakers:

  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer Governor of Michigan Thursday, November 19 6:15 – 6:30PM Eastern Standard Time
  • President Elizabeth Bradley President of Vassar College Glass Ceilings and Maternal Walls: Women and Academic Leadership Wednesday, November 1812:00  – 1:00PM Eastern Standard Time
  • Erin Vilardi Founder and CEO, Vote Run Lead The Power of Women in 2020 Wednesday, November 18 4:30  – 5:00PM Eastern Standard Time

Featured Workshop: Vote Run Lead’s 90-Day Challenge Led by Shannon M. Garrett Thursday, November 19 5:00 – 6:00PM Eastern Standard Time

Learn more about the conference and view the full program on our website.

This week we begin Transgender Awareness Month, and the LBGT Resource center has programs planned to celebrate, affirm, and support our trans and nonbinary student communities.
  • Medical Transition on Campus and Beyond
    Monday November 16th, 5:00-6:30pm
    Join us for a conversation about medical transition! There are many things to consider and no matter what you decide, your choices are valid. Each person's journey is unique and we want to provide a place to ask questions of different people whose work supports medical transition. This panel discussion will have Dr. Jessica Heselschwerdt, Certified Nurse Practitioner Tami Hiser, MSU Professor stef schuster, as well as students and staff who will lend their insight on what to consider, what questions to ask your physician, and what questions to ask yourself. Register in advance for this webinar on Monday, November 16th 2020 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm here: 
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance
    November 20, 6:00-8:00pm
    Join the LBGT Resource Center, Alliance of Queer and Ally Students, MSU TransAction, MSU Libraries LGBTQ+ Special Collection, Transilience, Center for Gender in Global Context, Salus Center MI, Transcend, and Lansing's Queer Quior for Transgender Day of Remembrance.  Transgender Day of Remembrance is an evening when our community comes together to take time to honor the transgender family we taken from us this year. Together, we mourn for our community we have lost and fight for our collective future to come. Join us virtually on Friday, November 20th 2020 at 6pm. Register here:
  • Trans Trivia
    November 30, 6:00-7:30pm
    Join us on Monday, November 30th 2020 at 6:00pm for Trans Trivia! Flex what you know and maybe learn something new! Prizes and fun for all!
    Register in advance for this meeting:
Intersex Inclusion Survey
With support from WSS and the LBGTRC, a group of students from Alliance, TransAction, and WoCo are advocating for more intersex inclusion in classrooms. We want to make sure we're hearing any concerns surrounding this topic. 

If you'd like to get involved further with this project, you can email

This is fully anonymous, and all questions are optional: Click on this link to complete the survey:

Michigan State University has created a new platform and record to recognize your beyond-the-classroom learning and engagement; My Spartan Story and the Spartan Experience Record (SER). Experiences you are engaging in outside the classroom will now be formally recognized by MSU. 

Are you participating in or aspire to engage in any of the following experiences?

  • On-campus employment
  • Research
  • Internships
  • Volunteering
  • Student organizations
  • Leadership roles

These are all part of what makes you a Spartan. provides a formal way to capture and share your out-of-class experiences on your Spartan Experience Record, which can be utilized to support your personal and professional goals during your time at MSU and beyond. Your SER can be requested alongside your academic transcript through the Registrar’s Office. 

What additional learning can you track? 

Experiences that can be included on the Spartan Experience Record include any out-of-class experience that is 1) MSU sponsored, 2) does not bear academic credit, and 3) has established learning outcomes that include assessment.

Visit to track your experiences or learn about how My Spartan Story and the Spartan Experience Record can benefit you. Additionally, sign-up for a virtual My Spartan Story 101 Workshop on one of our dates listed above here (attendees are entered to win prizes!).

TransMilitary - online film screening hosted by MSU Libraries
Thursday, November 19 7:00–9:00 pm
Register at:

Free and open to the public!
Cosponsored by the MSU Student Veterans Resource Center and the MSU Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Resource Center.

TransMilitary chronicles the lives of four individuals (Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace and First Lieutenant El Cook) defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own. They put their careers and their families’ livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The ban was lifted in 2016, but with President Trump now trying to reinstate it, their futures hang in the balance again.Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military (notably the largest transgender employer in the U.S.), where they must conceal their gender identity because military policies ban their service.In honor of Transgender Awareness Week, November 13-19.
Planned Parenthood Generation Action will be meeting this Fall on: 10/7, 10/21, 11/04, 11/18, & 12/03. Email for more information.

The 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration Planning Committee is pleased to be partnering with the MSU Alumni Association to recognize the late U.S. Representative John Lewis for his remarkable 50+ years of work and great sacrifices made as a civil rights activist.  He marched alongside Dr. King, his role model, and was a lifelong advocate of nonviolent protests.

The 2021 theme for the MLK celebration: “Good Trouble: Reclaiming Our Democracy, Demanding Social Justice.” More information about the upcoming events, including the MLK Endowed Scholarship Program, will be available in the next few weeks. Save the date on your calendars for the start of the celebration, Sunday, January 17, 2021.

Questions about the celebration or ways to get involved, can be directed to Audrey D. Bentley at

Rent the film

Interested in helping plan the MLK, Jr. Student Leadership Initiative? Please complete this form to join the planning committee.

Join the MLK Planning Committee
The MSU Center for Survivors is offering Virtual Healing Through Yoga, a drop-in trauma-sensitive yoga practice to promote healing and wellness.  Healing Through Yoga is open to students, staff, and community members of all practice levels.  Sessions are held on Thursdays from 1-2pm beginning September 17th.  Interested? Please email and the link will be sent to you.
  • Studio (in)Process at Home (9pm - 10pm) Facebook Live

We’re bringing Studio (in)Process to you! We miss getting together and making art on Thursday nights at the MSU Broad Art Lab, so let’s create from the comfort of your own home (or kitchen table, couch, garage, she-shed, porch, etc.). Studio Educator Britta Urness will lead you through live projects you can follow along with, or simply watch and learn. Tune in Thursday nights at 9pm, gather your materials, pour a beverage, and join the fun!

12/3 - Paper Marbling

12/10 - Stamped Holiday Gift Tags and Wrap *Surplus and Recycling collaboration

12/17 - Studio Visit: Beatriz Cortez

  • Saturday, December 5, 2020 1–5pm, 20 minute break

Breaking Barriers Through Art (Educator Workshop with Wanda B. Knight)

Nobody wants to be excluded. What obstacles keep art educators from achieving greater inclusiveness within their classrooms? What role might practitioners play concerning the elimination of systemic barriers in educational workspaces? This presentation and workshop focus on oppressive structures that exclude historically marginalized groups from meaningful participation and draws upon the theory of intersectionality to highlight the consequences of simultaneous, intersecting, marginalized social identities and experiences that have resulted in long-term unequal outcomes. Participate in this workshop and learn about tools that can support compassionate and courageous leadership focused on creating empowering spaces and breaking barriers that prevent progress toward achieving greater equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. SCECHS available, registration required. Register Here.

  • Sunday, December 6, 1 - 4pm // Wednesday, December 16, 7:00 - 10:00pm

3-D Workshop: Winter Clay Luminaries Zoom

Light up the darkest time of the year by designing a hand-built luminary to add a glow to your path or gift to a friend. During this interactive Zoom workshop, participants will work with slabs of air dry clay, then carve out shapes inspired by winter scenes from the MSU Broad collection. Next, slabs are joined to create a luminary holder for either a candle or LED light. This clay dries overnight, and you’ll be shown how to finish your piece with a metallic surface. Cost of registration ($65) covers instruction and all materials. This workshop is led by Art Lab Educator Britta Urness. Registration is required. Register here.

Choose the date that's best for you! This workshop is being offered on Sunday, Dec. 6th from 1–4pm or Friday, Dec. 16th from 7–10pm.

Material kits for this workshop are included in the cost of registration. Kits are available for curbside pick-up at the MSU Broad Art Lab between 12pm and 5pm beginning the Tuesday prior to the date of the first workshop (Dec. 1st). If you are unable to pick-up materials please email us at

Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) Updates:

Beginning March 17, as a COVID-19 preventive measure, CAPS offices at Olin Health Center, MSU Student Union, and the Neighborhoods will be closed.

CAPS counseling and psychiatry staff will work remotely to help meet the needs of MSU students.

  • Established patients with scheduled appointments will be offered phone or Zoom sessions. Patients will be contacted and given instructions.
  • All group counseling services have been cancelled. Group co-leaders will reach out to students to discuss alternative options, such as phone consultations.

Patients needing a prescription refill prior to their next appointment can use the MyMSUHealth patient portal to make the request:

CAPS Phone (517-355-8270) will be set to a voice prompt with 3 options: (Press 1) To talk with a crisis counselor, (Press 2) to leave a message with the CAPS Nurse which will be responded to within one business day, or (Press 3) for general messages.

CAPS Connect sessions and Outreach Services are canceled through the spring semester.

Community Health Concern Information:

For students with health concerns and more information on COVID-19:

Students who are struggling to meet basic needs should reach out to the Greater Lansing Food Bank (

Students experiencing mental health crisis can  MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (517-355-8270).

About Women*s Student Services
Student Life: +1 517-355-8286
Voicemail: +1 517-432-7556

Contact us!
Director: Heather D. Shea, Ph.D. (she, her, hers)
Graduate Assistant: Gabby Wahla  (she, her, hers)

Visit us in the fall!
Interactive Campus Map
make a donation to WSS

Women*s Student Services (WSS) is committed to:

  • fostering inclusive conversations that explore topics of intersectional feminism

  • building collaborations and coalitions with other student services offices and other departments on campus,

  • supporting all students in working toward an empowering and equitable community for women-identified students at MSU, and aligning with the Division’s quality standards of being respectful, responsive, and resourceful.

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