Pamela Merritt is co-founder and co-director of Reproaction, a new direct action group forming to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. Merritt studied Anthropology at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Brandeis University. Merritt blogs at AngryBlackBitch.com, and was a founding member of the Trust Black Women Partnership. She has been a featured contributor on National Public Radio (NPR), and her writing has been published in the Chicago Sun-Times, Guardian UK, and Salon. In 2008 AngryBlackBitch.com was named one of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs by the Guardian UK.
Missouri legislators protect and fund crisis pregnancy centers, while ignoring how their constituents are affected by violence and health-care disparities. A new campaign is taking to the streets to refocus their attention.
Evangelical support for Black Lives Matter activism in Missouri has been virtually nonexistent, so it was exciting to find out that a full-throated challenge to that lack of support was thrown down at the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s recent student mission conference in St. Louis last month.
This weekend I won’t be enjoying a lazy summer day at home. I’ll be participating in United We Fight with thousands of people to uphold my commitment to this movement for Black lives. It’s been a year since the Ferguson Uprising, and I’m woke.
Since August 9, there has been a sharp divide between life before Michael Brown was killed and life after. The scab on the wound of racial injustice in the St. Louis region was ripped off, and we’ve all been confronted with the full scope of the infection.
From the early 1900s up until the 1970’s, over 30 states had formal eugenics programs, that enforced compulsory sterilization of individuals deemed to be “unfit” and “promiscuous.” States sterilized people that were disabled, poor, people of color, and immigrants. North Carolina had a particularly aggressive program. Yet the silence from anti-choice groups on the issue is deafening.
In Missouri, anti-choice Republicans opted to place the Missouri state government between doctors and their patients, and a Democratic Governor signed the bill into law. Reproductive justice activists must share our disappointment with the Governor and state legislators who voted for the abortion restriction bills.
As more states debate legislation to protect pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions on "moral" grounds, many consumers may face debates, forced public disclosures or delay at the pharmacy counter.
That’s what choice is all about, having the ability to partner with a doctor to make decisions that are right for the individual. That doesn’t mean those decisions would be right for someone else, but that’s the point lots of people missed.
One would think that child welfare would be a top priority in a state where politicians running for office regularly list their tradition family values among their qualifications, but that is not the case.
A legacy of the Civil Rights movement is the struggle for rights and access without fear of violence. But those who oppose abortion rights are not fighting for anything; rather they are fighting against women's freedom.
Coverage of a celebrity couple's infidelity scandal is more than just a race for ratings – it is an opportunity to educate the public about the health risks and realities every couple faces when confronted with infidelity.
Could pre-chewed baby food be a vector for HIV transmission? A report in Pediatrics suggests that it may -- but when thinking about this phenomenon, we need to avoid the knee-jerk "Ewwww" reaction that a ScienceNews reporter had.
We are so focused on weight as an indicator of health that we ignore the fact that thinness is not equivalent to being physically fit nor is a higher-than-average weight necessarily an indicator of being "unhealthy."
A Missouri bill would make physicians criminals for helping women obtain an abortion "with knowledge" that the woman has been "coerced" and would prohibit the woman from consenting to an abortion as the "victim of a coerced abortion."
Pro-choice initiatives from Prevention First to zeroing out abstinence-only funding will need support from socially conservative Democrats. That's why we need to understand the aims of anti-choice Dems.
The thought of people refusing to serve a person of color due to their personal objection to desegregation is now considered indefensible, but refusal of service due to personal religious objections is not a thing of the past.
As we count down to the end of the Bush presidency and the beginning of the Obama Administration, Pamela samples the views of a few reproductive justice activists to find out what progress they hope to see come out of the next four years.
Like many people with a developmentally disabled family member I welcome the introduction of the needs of the developmentally disabled into national policy debates. But we need policies and funding, not promises.
News that African-Americans are just 12 percent of the population but 46 percent of new HIV infections should get the presidential candidates talking about HIV/AIDS. They're not -- so we went looking for their positions.
The lesbian community faces unique challenges when accessing health care, from widespread provider misconception about STI risks for women who partner with women to doctors who tailor their medical advice to stereotypes they have of lesbians' lives and needs.
Sex reassignment surgery and other related medical interventions cost thousands of dollars and are not optional for many transgender people. But many insurance companies don't consider these procedures medically necessary.
New research suggests that teens aren't using oral sex as a substitute for sexual intercourse. Now our challenge is to develop programs addressing the reality of teen sexual behavior rather than speculating over the myth of "technical virginity."
A case before the California Supreme Court, brought by a woman refused in vitro fertilization by her doctors because she is a lesbian, serves as a reminder that medical discrimination is still a real threat for many Americans.
One third of young women who drop out of high school cite pregnancy and/or motherhood as the reason. But in recent years, special schools for pregnant students have been phased out in favor of mainstreaming. What's next?
Recent studies have discovered a dramatic decline in breast cancer incidence resulting from a reduction in the use of hormone replacement therapy. It's good news -- except that it's not true for African-American women.
Currently, Missouri midwives must have a nursing degree and work under a doctor's supervision -- otherwise, they are committing a felony. A Senate bill under consideration would expand women's birthing options -- but the Missouri State Medical Association is fighting back.
The number of women in prison is growing at a staggering rate. We must include the challenges and issues incarcerated women face to reproductive health care access as we advocate for reproductive justice for all.
On the front lines healthcare providers and volunteers meet young women who learn prevention post-infection, who explore contraceptive options after a pregnancy and who are growing up in a culture where sophisticated media outlets sell sex as power.
How would AIDS service organizations in American cities respond if they had to sign the anti-prostitution pledge required of PEPFAR grantees? What impact would that pledge have on Americans at risk for HIV infection?
Menopause is a natural stage of a woman's reproductive life, a condition women go through as they grow older. Knowing the facts and having resources will help women prepare for, rather than dread, that change.
There's a whole lot of inaccuracy wrapped up in the so-called pharmacy protection bill being considered in Missouri. The bill not only seeks to protect pharmacies from legal action resulting from the refusal to sell a drug they can't sell -- it also reclassifies emergency contraception as an abortifacient.
Google "black genocide" and a multitude of web sites indicting Planned Parenthood and other health providers for perpetrating genocide on black people fill the computer screen. It's tempting to scoff at such claims as the delusional ranting of the lunatic fringe, but that wouldn't be wise.
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