Birth and Reproductive Justice

I was so disappointed to have missed this, but thank goodness, they filmed it and put it online! This Reproductive Justice in Action panel included Aisha Domingue (from Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective), Mary Mahoney, Lauren Mitchell (both via the Doula Project), and Miriam Pérez (tha radicalest doula!).

The panel, for me, really draws a wider circle for what birth attendant care can be. Aisha talks about how young disadvantaged mothers need more support becoming parents, not just giving birth. Mary and Lauren discuss the varying needs of women who are choosing adoption, which range from mothers wanting to breastfeed and room-in with their babies to women not wanting to see the baby and wanting it out of the room asap. They also talk about their experience with providing support for women during abortions, which makes up the largest piece of their service. And Miriam describes the unique needs of women with language barriers, and what her experience has been as a doula, particularly being pro-choice, attuned to reproductive rights/justice, and queer. Something that seems important to each of these providers is finding a model that works well locally to women with respect to differences, which I love.

I am deeply attracted to attending births partly because I believe it is a privilege and joy to provide informed, empowered choices for parents. I believe this leads to empowered and healthy parents in small and large ways, which is what birth and healthcare more generally should be able to do regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, size, etc.

This ethic behind what I am interested in doing is well represented by the lens of reproductive justice and I look forward to thinking more broadly about how to be a provider attending to the a wider scope of reproductive decisions parents face.


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