From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: “Do you know what you need?”


I attended another cool conference this weekend–sponsored by Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program and Hampshire College, it was called From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: The Fight for Reproductive Freedom.

“Do you know what you need?” A presenter on a panel about family creation shared this really powerful point in reference to social work–that we need to be asking this question constantly. I think this is a center piece of the doula/midwifery philosophy, and it is based in the idea that a person’s self-knowledge must be put at the center.

If we cannot ask what a woman wants, or ask if she knows what she needs, then we cannot begin to support her. It also emphasizes the idea that a person knows best what they need to improve their situation. Too frequently we come at these situations with our own agenda, or our own idea of what someone else needs, and do not do a good enough job of listening. Even doulas and midwives are guilty of this sometimes. Also this philosophy reinforces the idea that a woman should speak up with her desires and make demands, particularly in health care settings.

I think its a great slogan–let’s make some radical doula t-shirts (no making fun of my elementary photoshop artwork above).

The next few posts will be on things I heard there that sparked my thinking, so stay tuned.


2 thoughts on “From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: “Do you know what you need?”

  1. CScarlet April 5, 2007 / 12:39 am

    Good god I was THERE, at the conference, in that workshop. Oh wow. I wish I’d known you were! What a coincidence.

  2. milbydaniel April 5, 2007 / 2:10 pm

    That conference is always so invigorating for me – sad I didn’t go! What other workshops did you do? I want a full report!

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