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
Contributing Authors
Posts tagged "reproductive health"
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?
“Reproductive justice” is more than the sum of its parts! Even if an organization or campaign is associated with both reproduction AND justice, that entity is not necessarily embodying the tenets of reproductive justice. Asking “does this center the needs and elevate the voices of women of color?” is a pretty solid way of figuring it out. Lastly – keep in mind that reproductive justice activists often find themselves in an adversarial position in relation to health and rights-based groups, acting as a check on problems like exclusivity and access.
I understand and encourage a serious questioning of the medical industrial complex, as any person interested in reproductive justice projects should. But the answer to issues with the way birth control medication works cannot be ableist, classist, neurotypical and deeply trans*phobic nonsense. It is not a useful, kind, or commendable effort to drag down the people dependent on the medical system in attempting to criticize it. The pull out method is not a revolution; it’s a complicit and passive reaction to normative medical practices that marginalized folks have been critical of—and suffered due to—since the beginning.

Given the current trend of comparing abortion to idolatrous child sacrifice, this couldn’t have been more convenient story for anti-choicers seeking to demonize their opposition. Thankfully, many reproductive health advocates have a good sense of humor. Despite the shit-storm happening across America with puritanical reproductive restrictions, several people happily took time out to poke fun at our new Satanic label for a day. (Cause you know, it’s not just one girl being cheeky or even a handful of people. It’s ALL pro-choice activists!) When a male member of the UK Church of Satan denounced the supposed group chanting, the anti-choice crowd latched on to spin a new story: You guys are worse than self-identified Lucifer enthusiasts!

Still, while the whole thing is amusing, it shows how little things have changed since, you know, actual Puritans first showed up and began colonizing North America. Like their relatives in Europe, our Puritan friends were all too eager to assume that women who didn’t fit the mold of a proper, faithful lady – i.e. childless, independent, unmarried, opinionated – were up to no good and making deals with the Devil. Here we are hundreds of years later, and women seeking bodily autonomy are assumed to be evil.

For many people, this request for identification is not a benign moment that blips across your radar while running errands; it can put people at serious risk for harassment, oversight by legal and immigration services, misgendering and transphobia, and on top of all that, denial of the services you were seeking in the first place. Medication of any kind is a human right for those who need it and thus any restriction that denies access based on identity, especially those that are highly stigmatized, must be dealt with first. We must question the arbitrary age distinctions in accessing EC, absolutely, but we must also question the arbitrary definition of personhood based on state identification and for whom it grants access to necessary medical care. All people who need emergency contraception should be able to access it, but not all people are considered persons in a meaningful sense when it comes to state regulation based on ID laws. This regulation is not limited to accessing highly politicized reproductive healthcare, but also voting in many states. When acquiring such ID has cissexist and racist implications and impacts, along with the burden it places on the poor, it is a necessary priority when discussing these regulations.

For nearly three years, Trust Women has worked to reestablish reproductive healthcare services in Wichita and the day has finally arrived that we can say, "It’s happening!"We are finally ready to open our first clinic. 

This facility will mean women in the Wichita area can be assured that, for the first time in nearly four years, they have quality abortion care that doesn’t require a 3+ hour drive.  The non-abortion care we will provided, from annual exams and STI testing to obstetric and post-natal care, will help close the gap in gynecological services in the Wichita area.

Help our friends over at TW out - let’s kick this thing off in style.

Semi-recently, I went through a Major Life Change (read: breakup), and found myself with a lot of excess time and excess feelings on my hands. In order to distract myself from the pangs of heartache, I started to spend a lot more of my time at the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM).

Can I just tell you how fucking awesome this place is? With an operating budget of basically zero and a staff of three, this place is radically changing the face of trans* services in the state of New Mexico, the Southwest, and hell, I’ll even say the whole damn United States. Grassroots organizing and community accountability are at the core of TGRCNM’s values, and I think that there is a lot that we can all learn from the work being done by these amazingly dedicated folks.

Example 1: In September, TGRCNM hosted its first ever Pabst and Paps, a pap clinic for transmasculine people. There was food, football, fraternizing, and oh yeah, pap smears. What a great idea, right?

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from the column:

I know parents might feel reluctant about their teenagers signing on for such a serious kind of birth control. I’m sure moms and dads don’t want to think of their kids being sexually active. Still, talks must be had.

Cristy Austin, an Overland Park YMCA youth development services supervisor and mom, says the discussion must start at home.

adisasterbutton:

ok4rj:

kittykraze:

ok4rj:

from abc news:

Despite the sobering stats on teen pregnancy, many doctors do not offer long-acting methods to teens as their first option for birth control, possibly due to misconceptions about these options.

“It’s such a common thing,” said Dr. Rachel Phelps, medical director of Planned Parenthood’s Rochester/Syracuse Region. “I see teens and women every week who are pregnant because their doctors aren’t well educated in contraception.”

I wanted one when I was a teen and my doctor told me I had to already have a child and be in a monogamous relationship to get one.

Many doctors tell folks of all ages this exact thing, and it’s patently, outrageously untrue. The only effect childbirth could possibly have on one’s eligibility for an IUD is that the cervix might be slightly more amenable to the insertion process. The monogamous relationship thing is utter bullshit and relies on the assumption that women are stupid and can’t understand that contraception and STD prevention are different things. 

-Pearl

I was told you’re more likely for it to puncture the uterine wall if you haven’t had a child before because your uterus is smaller.

Part of the insertion process is a uterine “sound” which measures the depth of the uterus - if it’s too “small,” the doctor will not insert the IUD. Punctures are extremely rare and the circumstances are associated more with a tilted uterus than a nonparrous one. Most problems with IUD insertion/retention are associated with the cervix, not the uterus.

Glad to help! 

-Pearl

(via atrial-flutters)