by Latoya Peterson
On Wednesday, I went to check out the National Day of Action to Stop Stupak up on Capitol Hill. Running late and plagued by a persistent and annoying rain, I stumbled upon two other pro-choicers (easily identified by their hot pink signage) and ended up tagging along with them. I found myself in the perfect place – the basement of the Church of the Reformation was also the site of a pro-choice youth meet up. Since my goal was to talk to a diverse group of young activists who have picked up the mantle of fighting for reproductive justice, there was no where better – free food brings everyone out. I’m still working on pulling together the videos and text, but here’s the original (read: rough and unedited) cut from a young activist that epitomizes why so many of us are involved in the fight for Reproductive Justice.
(Transcript after the jump.)
Tishana Trainor, SPARK Reproductive Justice: SPARK Reproductive Justice Now is out of Atlanta, Georgia, and we do work based on reproductive justice across the LGBTQ community and women of color, ableism – you name it, we’re in it!
Latoya: Why [do the effects of] Stupak cut across so many different communities?
Tishana: Stupak is the Pitts, umm -
Latoya: That’s totally the unofficial slogan.
Tishana: It really does right now. Like I told another organization, I’ve had an abortion and I’ve also labored, twice. I was at different points in my life at the time. And if I had not been able to make the decision to abort, I would be the mother of five children right now and that doesn’t exactly work. Especially since there are slim to none social resources for women who do decide to labor in Georgia, especially teen mothers. And I was a teen mother at that time I already had my two children, but I needed an abortion. If I didn’t have the right to make that decision, then they wouldn’t have known what to do with me anyway, because I’d probably be homicidal. And that’s just the truth.
You know, when you’re standing between a woman and her child, whether she’s decided to abort that child or have that child, you’re in the way of something that has absolutely nothing to do with you. So just get the f- out of my way, you know? (both laugh) To keep it clean…
Latoya: What do you think people fail to understand about these debates, as polarized as they can get?
Tishana: They seem to think that it’s all about abortion, and it’s not. It’s really just another way for them to – first off, women are paid less in the first place, and to have more of our money coming out of our pockets, just for reproductive services that we may or may not need immediately, or may or may not need anyway, is dead wrong. I mean, we’re already making less money than men are in this country, and to have more money coming out of our pockets, it’s just – it’s backwards. The fact of the matter is if they want more men on their side, they have to come to us to get ‘em. Right? Right. They seem to forget that. You don’t want to piss of your women if you want to keep your men in line. That’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying.
Latoya: If you could say anything to Bob Stupak, the Catholic Church…if you had the power to come and throw one beamed thought into their minds, what would it be?
Tishana: Grow a uterus. That’s it. Grow a uterus and then walk a mile in my shoes.
Latoya: Then come talk to me, right?
More videos to come. I’m still working on editing the voices of those I met, and transcribing those who were not comfortable being on camera. The rough cut of the footage so far is about 20 mins.
Mad love to everyone I met, all the Racialicious fans, and a big special thank you to Allison, Ashley, Samantha, Karen, Victor, Trang, Mackenzie, Katie, Sammy, Norma, and Tishana, who let me capture them on video, and Lyle Crocodile and A.J. who were camera shy, but trusted me enough to let me record them anyway.
Related: Quoted: Kimala Price on Hip-Hop Feminism and Choice
Mod Note: This is a pro-choice space. I respect the rights of others to hold beliefs based on their religions, as long is it does not infringe on my rights. That being said, anti-choice comments will be deleted. – LDP