The student-run group, Wesleyan Clinic Escorts, is the recipient of the annual Catherine Roraback Award, given by NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut.
The Catherine Roraback Awards is presented to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated leadership, courage and activism in the struggle to protect privacy rights, the legal right to obtain an abortion and access to reproductive health for all women.
Students involved in the clinic escort travel to the Summit Women’s Center in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday and Friday mornings during the academic year. The center performs abortions on these days.
According to the Wesleyan Clinic Escorts Facebook site, the group is a “positive, supportive presence” for the clinic’s patients.
“Our job is to escort the women who would like to be escorted past the antis who are present and to the clinic door. There is a strong anti-force in Bridgeport. We are not there to engage with the protesters; we are there for the women. We act as a barrier between their harassment and the women who wish to enter the clinic. We are not affiliated with the clinic, but our presence is both respected and appreciated.”
In a letter to Wesleyan, Jillian Gilchrest, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, says, “Thank you for the work you do to protect women’s access to reproductive healthcare in Connecticut and congratulations on being awarded the 2010 Catherine Roraback Award.”
NARAL will present Wesleyan with the award Oct. 1 in Hartford.