Organizations Create a Coalition to Advance Reproductive Justice in Arizona
The Arizona Reproductive Justice Coalition aims to move bold policies forward to protect the human rights of Arizonans.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 8, 2021
DeShawn Taylor, MD: Desert Star Institute for Family Planning, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org. 480-448-6753
Marinah V Farrell: Parteras de Maiz. email@example.com. 602-793-5063
Arón Castillo: Trans Queer Pueblo. firstname.lastname@example.org. 602-529-0874
Phoenix – Through education and engagement of local policy makers, advocates, and community members, the Arizona Reproductive Justice Coalition aims to move bold policies forward to empower Arizonans to decide whether, when, and how to form families and raise children – no matter who they are. Reproductive justice is a framework that when used to create policy can help address intersecting oppressions and center the most marginalized Arizonans. The coalition has 12 founding organizational* members.
Historically the bodies, sexuality, reproduction, and movement of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, women, transgender, gender non-conforming, queer individuals, immigrants (both documented and undocumented), refugees, and youth have been subjected to control and policing at a great cost to human rights and lives. It is the mission of the coalition to remove the imposed barriers and stigmas.
“Reproductive rights are the baseline, and we’re not even there right now. We need to start demanding reproductive justice,” says Dr. DeShawn Taylor, President and CEO of Desert Star Institute for Family Planning. “We achieve justice when people have accurate information to make informed decisions about their health and lives. There is justice when people can access care where they live because there are providers.And, there is justice when all people have the resources necessary to avoid pregnancy when they don’t want to become pregnant.”
“With the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority, it is increasingly important for our communities to understand the damaging effects of our state laws and demand that our elected officials ensure Arizonans are able to exercise their rights to reproductive health care,” continues Dr. Taylor.
We are only two months into 2021 and already several bills have been introduced in the state legislature that would infringe upon the human rights and bodily autonomy of all Arizonans. As these attacks continue, the Arizona Reproductive Justice Coalition intends to fight back, envisioning an Arizona where everyone who lives in the state can access all of the resources needed to live healthy, dignified lives, free from stigma, discrimination, and violence in all forms.
“Traditionally, in communities of people of color, the birth worker was also the healer and the medicine person,” says Marinah V. Farrell, Founder of Parteras de Maiz and Executive Director of Changing Woman Initiative. “Reproductive justice was the original work of midwives, providing care for puberty, pregnancy, birth, and abortion. Being respectfully served with a full spectrum of care is a human right.”
“We recognize that people of color, in being marginalized, enslaved and colonized, lost sovereignty over their bodies and their health as they lost their freedom. Our coalition of people of color, from abortion provider to birth worker, is the best way to heal our communities from the oppression of our reproductive lives via a movement that intersects all areas of reproduction,”says Farrell.
“Our LGBTQ+ migrant community does not have access to primary care due to our migratory status, white supremacy, transphobia and homophobia. Even with documents, migrants are subject to laws that restrict our ability to have and care for our chosen and biological families and our ability to own and care for our own bodies,” says Arón Castillo, Health Justice Coordinator at Trans Queer Pueblo. “Our body autonomy is stripped away when we are locked up and violently misgendered in ICE’s migrant jails. The trauma of detention and police and ICE persecution makes it impossible to be healthy. The only resources available exist through a few grassroots organizations to support mental and physical health or economic wellbeing for our people inside and outside of detention.”
“As a coalition, we fight for reproductive justice for all of our communities in order to guarantee that the future is trans, queer, Black, Indigenous and Brown and that our communities are respected, honored and centered in building a state of wellbeing that is culturally rooted and radically trans queer,”says Castillo.
*Founding organizational members:
- Arizona Birthworkers of Color ‘
- Black Lives Matter Phx-Metro
- Black Mothers Forum
- Black Phoenix Organizing Collective
- Desert Star Institute for Family Planning
- Go With The Flow
- Organized Poder
- Parteras de Maíz
- Pro-Choice Arizona Foundation
- Rooted Doula Collective
- Trans Queer Pueblo
- Tucson Abortion Support Collective