Reproductive justice is about human rights and our ability to exercise the freedom to choose how we live. Reproductive justice is about access to birth control and sex education. It is about education in general and building awareness of these issues. Ultimately, reproductive justice is about equality.
Weeks ago, I was rather horrified to see an interview on CNN with Rick Santorum, presidential candidate, who proclaimed that abortions should not only be illegal as they constitute murder, but also that any practitioners should be “criminally charged.” He claims that abortion is wrong, no matter the circumstances. He does not care. It is morally wrong. It is baby killing. Period.
I did some research on this man and found out that his own wife actually had an abortion. But that was different. His wife’s life was in danger and they were faced with having to choose her life over the baby’s. They chose her life. They stand by it. But no one else can be faced with that same situation and make that same decision because THAT is murder. I call that hypocrisy of the worst kind.
But this discussion about reproductive justice is not about abortion, despite what the media and the “powers that be” say. What the discussion should be about is healthcare, wellness checks and prevention. This discussion should be about improving our nonexistent sex education in Nevada. We should move from this notion that teaching “abstinence-only” works (after all, Nevada leads the nation in teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections). Rather, we should acknowledge the world in which we actually live and try to address the real problems that confront us with real world rational solutions.
Sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancy and unplanned parenthood will not be solved with more preaching. It will require more availability and awareness of the tools, resources and education needed to combat these problems in our communities. It requires a change of attitudes and that we let go of our judgments of people, and that we come together as a community.
Like so many others, I am struggling everyday just to survive. But I am fortunate. I had literally years of sex education. I am fully aware of the dangers of sex and how to plan pregnancy. Unfortunately, not everyone has those opportunities and that needs to change.
This discussion is about equality. It is about human rights and opportunities. Many of us see the disparities that exist and we are united because we want the situation to improve. I look forward to working with this community and continued coalition-building. Let us change the world. The place is here. The time is now.Tweet