Oklahomans for Reproductive Justice

Oklahomans for Reproductive Justice (OK4RJ) consists of a group of young Okies dedicated to caring and advocating for Oklahomans, using community and grassroots approaches to raise awareness and advocate for access to full reproductive freedom for all, regardless of race, class, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We believe that social justice issues are inseparable from reproductive issues and advocate for a holistic view of reproductive justice Visit our site at ok4rj.org
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Posts tagged "race"
In the United States, a nation that spends more on health care than its industrialized peers, Black women die from pregnancy-related causes at rates three to four times higher than their white counterparts. Though they generally have less access to prenatal care and health insurance, Black women also have more frequent and longer antenatal hospital stays. They are more likely to experience pregnancy loss or complications when compared with whites and Hispanics…Black women are disproportionately criminalized for drug use or decisions made during pregnancy. In these cases, we see a culture that no longer commodifies Black reproduction, as in slavery, but nevertheless subjects Black female sexuality, reproduction, and mothering to harsh, public scrutiny. Yet Black women’s maternal death rates garner little comment. Why Don’t More People Care About Black Maternal Deaths?
A woman’s chance of being killed by an abuser increases by 700% if he has access to a firearm.

 A woman’s chance of being killed by an abuser increases by 700% if he has access to a firearm. (via librarianpirate)

Equally terrifying: “Femicide, the homicide of women, is the leading cause of death in the United States among young African American women aged 15 to 45 years and the seventh leading cause of premature death among women overall.”

(via curiousgeorgiana)

(via homohomosapiensapien)

This acceptance of small victories through gratitude is one of the strategies blacks and other oppressed peoples use time and time again to keep holding on. Fifty years after the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom things are better, but there is still room for improvement. How will I feel in the next fifty years? Will we be able to look back and see a clear choice to include the struggling minority groups of today? The vision has to include more than just ethnic groups; undocumented people and GLBTQ friends need progress too. I can only speculate that more positive changes are on the way.

In the same interview, Kendall and Flavia Dzodan highlight the fact that the internet is not a bootstraps-style meritocracy, that many marginalized voices online are starting from a place of limited resources. Just like on the non-Internet! The belief that the internet is totally egalitarian has lead only to frustration for feminists of color, who have seen their work not only ignored and erased but appropriated, co-opted, and plagiarized. This problem sometimes seems insurmountable for those of us working in a WoC-centered framework in red states, especially low-resource rural red states where conventional face-to-face organizing is not possible.

#solidarityisforwhitewomen addresses a type of activism that is beginning to show itself as based in bubble-like self-preservation, rather than effective strategizing or even real movement-building. I won’t go so far as to claim that it’s malicious insofar as willful ignorance is not necessarily malicious. But it certainly requires active denial of how privilege works while simultaneously claiming to dismantle that privilege.

The boredom, the chaos, the violence, the shitty food and dinginess. The clear lack of resources invested by the government into the care of human beings. The show depicts just how abusive and inadequate the US prison system is. It’s pretty clear that the real villains in the show are not the women incarcerated at Litchfield. They’re the guards and employees who maintain an atmosphere of dehumanization, degradation, and deceit. Sam Healy, the social worker and counselor at Litchfield, and George “Pornstache” Mendez, a correctional officer, make me cringe every time they are on screen. The way they satisfy their own pathetic desires to control the inmates is easy to hate. Harder to swallow is the humanizing truth that working in a prison does awful things to warp the psyche. But after that season, who doesn’t get the sense that our prison system is broken, terrifying, and really fucked up?


About those race riots that were supposed to happen following the Zimmerman verdict …

"The worst race riot in US history happened in Tulsa in 1921 when an angry white mob completely destroyed America’s wealthiest African American community, killed 300, and left more than 10,000 homeless."

(via kellypope)

I hear ignorant statements often from people who have no idea what it takes to be recognized in this country – people who do not understand the difference between visas, residency, and citizenship. They know nothing of political asylum and the disorganized mess that is the Department of Immigration. So how can these same people understand the importance of a reform, and how necessary it is for the reproductive justice world? A factor that is often overlooked in the reproductive justice world is the preservation of families, and that is when the topic of immigration becomes fundamental to the conversation. Without the security of having some form of legal status in the US, thousands of families are ripped apart by the mass increase of deportations and incarceration of undocumented people. Not only does it leave more children without homes or parents, but it also creates a large cloud of fear that keeps most undocumented folks away from the options that are in fact available for them.

[The New Jim Crow] argues that the War on Drugs has created a new sort of way to lock up, stigmatize, and economically and socially destroy large groups of people of color. Michelle Alexander says those who are targeted by racist law enforcement in stop and frisks and searches, prosecuted on flimsy evidence by over zealous prosecutors, and dealt harsh sentences by judges using mandatory minimums and sentence enhancements are effectively locked away for large portions of their life for largely nonviolent drug offenses. To give you an idea of how much prisons have expanded over the last 40 years, you’d have to release 4 out of every 5 prisoners to return to incarceration rates of the 1970s. That’s unbelievable.

Michelle Alexander gives insight into the harsh life awaiting people after their release or plea bargain that brands them felons; in many states, folks with felony records are barred from voting, public housing, federal education loans, safety net programs, professional licensure, and even food stamps. Coupled with the fact that employers can freely discriminate against people with felony records in hiring (you’ve seen the “check here if you’ve ever been convicted of a felony” box on applications, right?), unemployment and gutted safety nets leave folks stranded, treated like second-class citizens.

The basic point here is that increasing the minimum wage is a fantastic idea, and we should absolutely do it. It will disproportionately benefit Southerners and Midwesterners, as well as people of color, women, and especially single women. Increasing the minimum wage also conveniently has massive public support, with 71 percent of people and even 50 percent of Republicans favoring such a move. Even if it only helps some people, it still increases the financial resources of groups who are badly in need of it. And as we all know, more financial resources means more capabilities, including those capabilities related to child-rearing and accessing quality reproductive health care.
Issues of reproductive justice for American Indian women are particularly relevant here in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has the second highest population of American Indian people in the US and has 38 federally recognized tribes. Over half of the 63 IHS pharmacies surveyed by the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center (NAWHERC) in the Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Aberdeen, S.D., and Bemidiji, Minn. service areas carried Plan B, but many of these pharmacies did not have the pill available over-the-counter. The NAWHERC study found that only 11 percent of the pharmacies surveyed carried emergency contraception over the counter. About half carried emergency contraception but required a prescription and a doctor’s visit, and about 43 percent of the pharmacies contacted did not carry Plan B at all.