CLPP 2010: Speaking Out for Reproductive Freedom

This powerful session features activists from the U.S. and abroad speaking about abortion rights, LGBTQ organizing, youth liberation, economic justice, climate change, HIV/AIDS, parenting, prison abolition and more. Through their voices we… mark the interconnections among issues and movements.

Some quotes from this inspiring plenary after the jump.

Courtney Hooks, Student Conference Co-Coordinator: One thing I personally love about CLPP is how it opens up spaces for students to learn and lead.
Marlene Fried, CLPP Director: Immediately what you should all do is demand that President Obama rescind the executive order. He really can do that. Conservatives are already mobilizing to make sure Justice Stevens’ replacement is more conservative. Demand that we get a Justice that stands for justice.
Betsy Hartmann, PopDev Director: How can we build better bridges between us, span the distances, build not just a solidarity economy but a solidarity ecology, a solidarity movement? Well, all politics is local as they say. That wisdom has not been lost on the radical right and it should not be lost on us. It is through grassroots organizing that we can build the small but important victories that sustain us and build power along the way. If there’s an impasse in Congress try the town governments, try the streets. Wherever you are, make history right now.
Christi H. Ketchum, Project South: It was great to see Barack Obama become the 44th president. But we have to separate the man from the job to confront our government’s contradictory policies. Our strength lies not in knowing exactly how to move forward but in our committment to do so.
Charlie Rose, girlmom.com: Sometimes family creation is also about women’s dreams and about women’s decisions to guide the rest of our lives. It’s hard for me that the people who would congratulate me for creating my family would hate me because I’m poor, would hate me because I’m poor, and the people who are supposed to love me are sometimes really uncomfortable with me.
Mutinta Lina Muyuni, Ipas and a doctor in Zambia: It’s the young trees that make the forests of tomorrow.
Paki Wieland, Committee to Stop the War in Iraq: One of the things I try to do is not just talk things but embody them, and one of the things I’m embodying right now is aging. We don’t have to compromise. We can be exactly who we are. And in being that and giving each other the space to be that we are each and every one of us enriched.
Patricia Orozco, radio journalist in Managua and the Movimiento Autonomo de Mujeres: How come in Nicaragua the politicians were more progressive two hundred years ago than the ones we have now? The life of the woman exception has been removed from the abortion ban. Illegal, unsafe abortion is the main cause of maternal mortality in Nicaragua. There is no policy of sexual education. Sexual abuse has also been increasing in Nicaragua. We’re not afraid, we’re still struggling, and we expect your solidarity in our struggle!
Theresa Martinez, Justice Now: I have spent most of 23 years of my life in prison and on parole and I am a survivor of state violence. I hope that all people and organizations here working on reproductive health issues focus on people behind bars and recognize that prisons are tools of reproductive oppression. I became one of the first women inside to learn human rights law, teach it to other women to document incidents of abuse.
Marissa Valeri, Catholics for Choice: This myth that Catholics are more anti-choice needs to be shattered and it needs to be shattered now. Polling going back thirty years shows that we are not more anti-choice. When we assume that assume that all Catholics do not support the right to choose we open the door to allow Catholic bishops to write anti-choice policy. Women and families pay the price when theocracy trumps democracy.
Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, President and CEO of National Black Women’s Health Imperative (who described herself as “chronologically gifted): We support abortion. Our position is that it should be normalized. It is time for us to confront today… that this is the fierce urgency of now. It is time for us to also confront the devaluation of women’s lives. We must confront that there are so many blocks in the way, because color still matters. Cast a wide net to include those who aren’t here. Because until all women have all their rights equality remains an illusion.
Mia Mingus, Spark Reproductive Justice Now: Ableism impacts our reproductive justice work, all of our work. It tells us what bodies and lives are valuable and which are disposable. I don’t want to be the reason we fight for abortion. I don’t want to be the poster child for environmental degradation. I believe that disability justice has the ability to fundamentally change how we organize and how we produce community. I don’t want to live in a world where I have to leave the movements I’m a part of to feel whole. I don’t want to have to feel that in order to stay connected with this movement I need to cut off pieces of myself.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • Sky

    I dislike seeing the right to be pregnant (or not, as you choose) framed as a “women’s” issue. There are a great many women who will never be pregnant, and there are a great many people who are not women who will be. Framing this is a “women’s” issue is transphobic.