Reproductive Justice in Action: Reflections

Last week I had the opportunity to speak on a really great panel hosted by the Barnard Center for Research on Women. My co-panelists were Aishia Domingue with the Brooklyn Young Mother’s Collective, and Mary and Lauren, the co-directors of the Doula Project.

Here is a great overview of the event, but I wanted to add some thoughts as well.

First, it was fantastic to be in a room full of reproductive justice activists and supporters, all talking about birth. It’s amazing how things are progressing! And to have an event focused on doula work get such great attendance on a college campus is superb.

I really enjoyed collaborating with Aishia, Mary and Lauren on the event and hope to be in conversation with them more in the future.

One issue that came up in the Q&A that I thought was really interesting was the idea of sex education. We talked about how inadequate it is, how little young people are taught about their own bodies.

What I also thought of though, is how often times birth is used as a scare tactic. Do you remember watching the video The Miracle of Life? I remember being in Elementary School and being totally scared and repulsed by the birth scene. Educators sometimes use pregnancy and birth as scare tactics to keep kids from having sex.

We all know that scare tactics don’t work–and we get the added downside of scaring young kids early about birth.

I wonder what sex education that was really comprehensive–meaning it taught kids about childbirth without adding to the fear–would look like?

I also spoke that morning at the LGBT Literature class of a friend, Ileana Jimenez. It was an amazing visit, and such a great curriculum for high school students. More about my visit here.