NCJW addresses information void in reproductive health education

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MILLBURN, NJ — NCJW/Essex will sponsor a Lunch and Learn, “The Information Void: A Discussion of Reproductive Health Education,” on Thursday, Jan. 26, in commemoration of the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision ensuring a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion. The program will run from noon to 2 p.m. at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, 1025 South Orange Ave. in Short Hills.

For many women, the first and only sex education they received came from the ground-breaking book, “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” published in 1969, according to a press release. Since then so much has changed — like Roe v. Wade, the advancement of women in business and professional fields, sex education requirements in public schools — but the question remains as to whether women and girls are now more factually informed about their bodies and, in particular, their reproductive health. This special Lunch and Learn will address the “information void” focusing on three key issues — sex education, informed consent and crisis pregnancy centers — with a panel of experts from different areas of reproductive health.

Serving on the panel will be Nicole Cushman, executive director of Answer at Rutgers University, who will discuss sex education and what reproductive health information is and is not currently being disseminated in New Jersey; Cynthia Daniels, professor of political science at Rutgers University and lead author of “The Informed Consent Project,” who will share her findings on the restrictive nature and medical accuracy of state-mandated informed consent statutes required of women seeking abortions; and Jen Boulanger, director of communications at the Women’s Centers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Georgia, who will address the proliferation of “crisis pregnancy centers,” religious-based entities whose sole purpose is to prevent women from choosing abortion.

“Information Void” is being co-sponsored by many community organizations supporting reproductive justice. Admission is charged and includes a buffet lunch. Pre-registration is required. Call 973-740-0588 or visit to register.