Last year the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine’s chapter of Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) hosted a bake sale to raise funds to support better training in reproductive health care. They decided to donate the $350 they raised to RHAP!
This spring the students hosted a second bake sale and once again selected RHAP as the beneficiary. Their generosity and dedication to supporting reproductive health access is inspiring. We caught up with the current president of their MSFC chapter, Sydney Schacht, to learn more about the chapter’s great work. Sydney is a second year medical student and joined the group in 2014. When asked why her chapter donated to RHAP she explained, “We love the fact that you provide resources to providers since there are so few avenues for training. We also want to pay it forward in this choice movement – we really feel that without you, we can’t exist, and without us, you can’t. We’re in this together, so it is important to help each other out!”
Sydney has been involved with MSFC for two years. “As a first year they have a club week and you can talk to leadership and I met Hannah Tilden, who was our president last year. She had so much energy and was incredibly passionate.” Sydney explained, “I joined on the spot!”
Arizona has instituted some of the most severe abortion restrictions in the country. This has created a political climate that impacts the medical students. “As far as school, reproductive health care is pretty much not covered. We talked about the pill for 10 minutes. We learned about the IUD but weren’t tested on it. I feel like that is such a huge sign. That it’s not worthy of being examined, that’s the message I took home.” Sydney explained. “We also had a bit of resistance when we showed the documentary After Tiller on campus. There was some Facebook pushback, kind of like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ and that was frustrating because we want to be open about these issues.”
In the face of this resistance, their chapter allows students to come together and find support. “Our faculty advisory is very involved. She teaches a reproductive health elective once a year in the spring quarter.” Sydney says. “Despite limited access to education and training there are these gems that make MSFC a success.”