Persistent Reproductive Justice Inequities

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Persistent Injustices in Medical Care

A portion of the webinars focused on the history of healthcare and how it relates to the history of how slaves were treated as experiments and not as people for hundreds of years. Most of the medical care we receive today is due to Black women’s bodies being used without their consent (just like Henrietta Lacks). We have to come to grips with the idea that science was used as a tool to degrade and mistreat many people. As disturbing as this is, it’s even more shocking to discover that some of these abuses persist today.

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Attacks on Human Rights

This year saw the greatest number of abortion restrictions then at any other time. Why is the attack on women’s bodily autonomy happening again!? It’s scary to think that Roe v. Wade may indeed be in danger of being reversed. If this case is ruled in favor of overturning Roe, it means that abortion would become banned in 24 states. As we wait for the Mississippi case to be reviewed in the Supreme Court, we can only hold our breath, cross our fingers and hope that justice prevails. At the local level, we must advocate for abortion rights. If you need inspiration, just watch Paxton’s Smith’s speech at her high school graduation where she spoke about the horrid heartbeat bill that was recently passed in Texas. Also important to note that the lack of access to safe and legal abortion would disproportionally impact women of color. In a recent article that looked at the number of abortions in Brazil showed that when women do not have access to legal abortion, the rate of hospitalizations and death goes up significantly. And if the US refuses to provide support and/or contraceptives for women who choose (or are forced) to have children, then it should at the very least provide SAFE, LEGAL abortions!

Integrating Reproductive Justice into our everyday lives as Scientists

At the local level, fight for preserving and expanding access to abortion care, improving access to contraceptives and sexual education, and protecting a patient’s right to the truth in the doctor’s office.

Support these Reproductive Justice Organizations

Black Women for Wellness

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The Philly Pod of 500 Women Scientists is a grassroots organization founded in February of 2017 with a vision to make science more open and inclusive to all.