Miriam Zoila Pérez is a Cuban-American writer covering issues of race, health and gender. She is the founder of RadicalDoula.com, and was an Editor at Feministing.com for four years, during which time the site was awarded the Sidney J Hillman Prize for Blog Journalism. She’s the Gender Columnist for Colorlines, and her writing has appeared in The Nation, Alternet, The American Prospect, MORE Magazine, Talking Points Memo and a number of anthologies, including “Yes Means Yes,” “Click” and “Persistence.” Pérez is the author of “The Radical Doula Guide: A Political Primer for Full-Spectrum Pregnancy and Childbirth Support.” Learn more about her work on her website.
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology now says that we should "let nature take its course" during labor. But that change could take years to go into effect, affecting pregnant individuals in the United States and abroad.
Doulas have increased in number and popularity in recent years. But as a whole, what are we working toward? The goal of having a doula for every birth may not be feasible. It also may not bring about the radical change we seek.
Two weeks ago the American Association of Birth Centers and the American College of Nurse-Midwives released the findings from a new study.The big picture finding is this: for low-risk women giving birth, birth centers are an alternative that provides a safe, supportive, and cost-saving environment in which to give birth.
Each year the anniversary of Roe brings the reminder that people of color are disproportionately impacted by the current state of abortion access, but often missing from the public dialogue about Roe and abortion.
Rather than trying to convince people, especially women, to give birth in the socially-acceptable and medically-sanctioned 15-year window between college and age 35, why not change the way our society support families, so that whenever the moment for parenting arises, people have the support they need to do it successfully?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now supports birth control pills being sold over-the-counter. What could our health care system look like if doctors were less involved as gatekeepers to access to contraception?
The 10th anniversary of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day reminds us how far we still have to go to address race-based health disparities. But we must keep our efforts trained on the real causes of these statistics: social and economic conditions.
Often the argument is that if we try and fight the public funding battle, we might lose ground in overall access to abortion. But I think that the exact opposite is true. If we don’t fight the public funding debate, we’re going to lose altogether.
Myths about the Asian American community -- commonly referred to as the "model minority" -- often contribute to challenges in uncovering the very real health disparities that exist within the diverse populations that fall under the same statistical umbrella.
Race-based maternal health disparities are no longer a concern of the minority — they are a concern of the majority. And they should be a top priority. If Medicaid doesn’t make room for alternative, potentially life saving maternal health models, we risk endangering the health of generations to come.
There is a disturbing trend on the rise in the U.S., one that crosses into many arenas — from legislation to insurance policy to our judicial system to the way individuals interact with their medical providers. The trend? Making women responsible for healthy birth outcomes and jailing them when they don't meet this unattainable standard.
Surrogacy is a complicated subject, to say the least. It involves many of the issues central to reproductive justice—bodily autonomy, a woman’s right to abortion, definitions of parenthood, and custody of children. It’s also an option increasingly relied upon by gay couples—usually gay men—to create families. It invariably brings up concerns about racial and economic justice when the majority of surrogates are low-income and many are women of color. It’s an issue on which few reproductive rights and justice groups are working on but one that deserves our close attention.
Upwardly-mobile moms may finally be catching on to the benefits of midwifery and homebirth, but low-income women are still firmly planted in the hospital, most often with medicalized births overseen by doctors.
When the media covers the rising rate of c-section, it’s often ready to lay the blame at the feet of a woman we’re come to know well over the last few years -- the busy career mom scheduling her delivery between important business deals. But while some moms may be requesting surgical birth, research shows that has little to do with the overall increase in c-section rates nationwide.
During a time when abortion politics are the wedge issue dividing the social justice movement, some doulas are working across issue lines to provide women with the support they need for all their decisions.
Why should members of the LGBTQI communities care about abortion rights? Because reproductive justice is about much more than abortion - and building a powerful movement requires diversity, respect and a clear vision of the ways in which we are all connected.
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