Tag Archives: reproductive justice

“We’re Not Going to Stand for It”: SisterSongNYC’s Jasmine Burnett

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

I met the inimitable SisterSongNYC leader Jasmine Burnett after I came all late to Stand Up for Women’s Health Rally in NYC on February 26.  (In full disclosure: I’m also part of SisterSongNYC.)  In the video, she discusses some of the intersections of reproductive justice–economics, voting, and mothering–and what activism needs to be done.

Transcript after the jump.

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Television and Abortion: Two Shows, Two Different Paths

By Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, originally published at Televisual

Two broadcast television series the week of January 22nd featured prominent narratives on teenage pregnancy and abortion. A rare coincidence, indeed — or perhaps not, giving January 22 is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In Private Practice (“Best Laid Plans“), a rich black family’s 15-year-old daughter, Maya, gets pregnant and grapples with having the procedure. In Friday Night Lights (“I Can’t“), Becky, a minor but regular character, is a working class sophomore in high school also dealing with the same issue, albeit with much less parental guidance (her single mother).

Both shows, in my opinion, feature good storytelling and try to do justice to this difficult issue, in ways that suggest networks are finally moving forward on an issue still most famously explored in 1972 in an episode of Maude (later again on Roseanne).

Television (film too) is infamous for its silence on abortion. If a character gets pregnant, it’s an easy bet she’ll have it. So ironclad is the pregnancy rule it ruins all the drama from the plot point. Pregnancy = baby. Major characters rarely even discuss it (Sex and the City, season 4 did); “abortion women” leave shows quickly. Even adoption is rarely broached. So both Friday Night Lights and Private Practice deserve credit for even using the “A” word, several times, and actually dealing with the issue head-on.

The shows take two different paths. Yes, unbelievably, on broadcast television, a character actually goes through with the procedure.

Friday Night Lights Goes There

I should first be clear: I don’t think television needs to show more abortions. I do think, however, their near complete silence on the issue betrays the fact that this happens, everyday, right or wrong.

When Becky, who attends East Dillon high school and lives next to former Dillon star Tim Riggins (he’s her mom’s tenant and former one-night-stand), said she was pregnant last week, I wasn’t sure where Friday Night Lights would take it on. But the show privileges its sense of realism, reinforced by its documentary/hand-held camera aesthetic, so I thought if any show would “go there,” it would.

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Youth of Color Think Stupak is the Pitts Too!

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.

Tishana – Pro-Choicers on Stupak from Latoya Peterson on Vimeo.

(Transcript after the jump.) Continue reading

30 Under 30: Mia Mingus

By Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

miamingus

Mia Mingus
Age: 28
Co-Executive Director, SPARK Reproductive Justice Now

Why she’s influential: Because she’s an agent of real-world change in the reproductive justice movement. Mia Mingus is a queer, physically disabled Korean American transracial/ transnational adoptee, living and organizing in the Southeast. She currently serves as one of the Co-Directors of SPARK Reproductive Justice Now in Atlanta and believes that reproductive justice is crucial in the struggle for social change and the fight to end oppression.

Mia is an activist, organizer, thinker, writer, artist and speaker who’s not only in the middle of it all, but connecting it all together. Through her work on disability, race, gender, reproductive justice, sexuality, transracial and transnational adoption, and intersectional identities/politics, she recognizes the urgency and barriers for oppressed communities to work together and build alliances for liberation.

If you’re at all involved with the queer, API, and/or disability social justice movements, you know that Mia is a transformative figure. Maybe you saw her speak at the US Social Forum Plenary on Gender and Sexuality or attended her workshop on Reproductive Justice at NAASCON 08. Perhaps you heard her speak as the keynote of the Western Regional Queer Conference 09 or receiving the Creating Change Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Though her activism changes and evolves, her roots remain firmly planted in ending sexual violence. On top of all that, everyone I spoke to about Mia describes her as a warm, thoughtful, accessible, and incredibly nice.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Steph Lee, one of several people who nominated Mia: “The fierce leadership of a young, queer, disabled, transracially/ transnationally adopted Korean woman should be recognized so that we can continue to more lovingly and effectively connect, break shit down, and keep building shit up.”

See the rest of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30 here.