Category Archives: Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health

Looking into Restrictions on Reproductive Services and Emergency Contraception – Lift Louisiana

Hello! I’m Janna Mangasep, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Political Economy with a double minor in Mathematics and SLAMM (School of Liberal Arts Management Minor). I currently work for the nonprofit organization Lift Louisiana, and I’m primarily interested in public policy regarding women’s rights. Over the course of this semester, I’ve worked on a whole host of tasks: compiling a spreadsheet of policymakers’ voting behaviors on legislation pertinent to Lift’s mission, creating different infographics depicting data found regarding women who obtain abortions in LA, and working on a study on emergency contraception access in emergency rooms. All of these assignments, including many finished ones from earlier in the semester, entail a variety of skills, some of which I didn’t have prior to this internship.

One of the most significant aspects of my work at Lift is the new skills I’ve learned through practice. I hadn’t had any graphic design skills before I made the infographics on abortion restrictions in Louisiana. Although I wouldn’t call these documents groundbreaking in any way, they demonstrated to me that I can still expand on my preexisting knowledge of data presentation. While I had only created memos and one-pagers at my previous job at the Mayor’s Office, I now see new ways for me to convey information that push Lift’s goals into the public. This was an extremely refreshing experience for me!

Who has Abortions in the U.S. (Final)

Unfortunately, I’m not fully sure about the career path I’ll choose, but I do know that it will most likely be within the government. Therefore, I saw a connection between the rejection I faced in my work for our emergency contraception in emergency rooms (EC in ERs) study. During my work for this particular report, I narrowed down a list of all 200 hospitals across the state of Louisiana to the 100 hospitals that had emergency rooms. From this, I called each one asking them about three yes or no questions regarding EC accessibility for sexual assault survivors in order to collect data on this subject. Surprisingly, no matter the time of day I called and despite the fact I would ensure that the questions would be brief (accounting for the hectic lifestyle of ER staff), I would be either hung up on immediately or given a quick, rude denial. I ended up with only 19 hospitals worth of information. Though I’m sure this is nothing compared to what canvassing volunteers/workers go through, as the door slammed in my face was metaphorical, I felt as though I gained an understanding of the impatience that comes with interactions between those working on policy and those actually carrying out the responsibilities we try to monitor. There’s a difference between abstract concepts of data collection work and very tangible medical professionals’ work in hospitals. In order to actually effect change in fast-paced environments, we clearly have to consider these workers outside of our context of policymaking. Furthermore, this involves cooperation with those who may hold knowledge on the people in question. For example, we had connected with a volunteer from the LSU Medical School and only after I finished the study did I realize that we would have to rely on her much more than I initially thought. This kind of teamwork is crucial to any career within the government, and I’m grateful to have learned this even after a multitude of rejections from ER staff!

I’m incredibly excited to say that I’ll be continuing my internship into the spring semester of 2019. I look forward to see how this EC in ERs study pans out, the new skills I’ll learn, and the people I’ll connect with and cooperate with from both the work I do for Lift and the other amazing organizations in NCI’s Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Internship Program!

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Sex Education, Policy Analysis and More at IWES

My name is LaKia Williams and I am a sophomore studying Neuroscience on the pre-medicine track to be an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. While I care about medicine and how that relates to women’s health. I also care about the social determinants of women’s health, particularly reproductive health, and the ways in which laws and institutions perpetuate a lack of Reproductive Justice. Because of that I am very grateful to be interning this semester with the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) where I have been able to improve my knowledge on issues regarding laws surrounding reproductive rights and justice, sex education in Louisiana, and the world of Reproductive Justice.

So far my internship has included editing multiple sex education curriculums that were created by IWES to be taught in numerous schools in New Orleans. I have also been compiling sexual health data in Louisiana as well as in the nation at large in order to create a comprehensive analysis of Louisiana with respect to sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases/infections. Another project I’ve been working on is policy analysis. I created a one-pager of Louisiana sex education laws to be administered to IWES’ partners. I also mapped one of IWES’ sex education curriculum with Louisiana’s health education requirements to see how the two align.

One thing I particularly enjoy about my internship is the focus on mental health and mindfulness not only as an institute doing work in the community but also with a focus on the employees (and interns) as well. There are usually weekly staff tea times where we sit around, drink tea, and eat scones or cupcakes while listening to a lecture. One lecture that I particularly enjoyed was entitled “Treatment Options for Substance Use Disorders & Levels of Care in Greater New Orleans” which was very informative for me because I was able to learn about the different social issues involving substance abuse. The social worker spoke about the different social aspects of substance abuse and the Director of IWES, a psychiatrist, spoke about the physiological and psychological components of substance abuse and its neurological effects.

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IWES staff and I at the Packard Foundation Conference in Jackson, MS.

As an intern I was also able to attend a fully funded grantee conference in Jackson, Mississippi with five employees including two of my supervisors, the director, the chief program officer, and a program manager. I am grateful for this opportunity because I was able to learn more about the grassroots work that is being done in the south surrounding Reproductive Justice. I was also able to network with multiple women doing important work in the New Orleans community, from Lift Louisiana, Women with a Vision, and the Louisiana Public Health Institute and a former RRRH intern, I exchanged information with all these women which allowed me to grow my network and learn about their stories. This internship has allowed me to not only work in Reproductive Justice but to also grow my network, my networking skills, and my confidence.

Listening carefully, asking thoughtful questions

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It’s fall, which means it’s my third term as an intern with Newcomb College Institute’s Reproductive Rights and Health Internship program! In January, I first began my work with Dr. Katherine Johnson in Tulane’s Department of Sociology. Her Working and Nursing study is a qualitative study which intersects sociology and public health in its aim to gather the experiences of breastfeeding/pumping and working mothers in the greater New Orleans area. From best practices for workplaces to equitable maternity leave to studying the intersection of race and class in breastfeeding, our work is truly interdisciplinary and intersectional, which may be my favorite part of working on it.

In the spring 2018 semester, the majority of it was listening to interviews that Dr. Johnson had previously conducted and reviewing the transcripts for edits. As I entered the study without much prior knowledge about the ins and outs of breastfeeding and pumping, this was an informative period for me to begin understanding the health-related technicalities and larger emerging themes of the interviews, as well as understand my place as an ally and someone who is not just there to process information, but to learn from others’ lived experiences. In addition to breastfeeding, I continue to hear stories of births, infections and illnesses, family dynamics, interactions between race and class, and much more that make the stories so compelling and brave.

A lot has changed in our study since then. Our main focuses now are on the continued recruitment of breastfeeding women for the study, particularly women identifying as African-American, and in the analysis of data collected thus far through more quantitative means. Regarding the former, I’ve been able to conduct some of these interviews myself! This is the most directly engaging portion of my work, and one that I put a lot of thought and care into. I’m grateful for the period I had in the prior semester to familiarize myself with the interview structure and learn the best ways to ask particular questions. My top priority when conducting interviews is to listen, and in that, to be an ally for the interviewee. In my view, this means listening carefully and asking thoughtful questions according to the study and when additionally needed, and portraying and integrating that information in a way that is genuine and can ultimately advocate for Black working mothers. However, it is a critical and continual process.

Developing myself as an ally is an objective I’ve outlined for myself each term that I’ve worked with NCI, and I know I can do better still. It’s an aspect of my work that I’ve put a lot more thought into since the summer, when Dr. Johnson and I actively began brainstorming ways in which to recruit and most effectively interview women of color. A notable example of this is our quasi-investigation of an emergent theme from past interviews with Black moms: the existence of a stereotype that Black women don’t breastfeed. Some discussion we’ve heard from interviewees include that it is sexualized, frowned upon by older family members, or connected to the historical context of slavery and Black women being used as wet nurses for owners’ babies. Gaining these perspectives from the women we interview is absolutely vital to our work.

Our plans for data analysis have been developing significantly, and I’m about to take on a more technical challenge: statistical software! Dr. Johnson has been showing me the ropes of SPSS, and we’ve spent our past couple of meetings discussing the variables we want to test. A sub-topic of the study that we’re both interested in is maternity leave – what kinds are available? What do women have to do to make it work for their families? What policy changes would be feasible? – so my next task is to import our maternity leave data from the interviews and use SPSS functions to determine things like length of leave and associated demographic characteristics. After spending so much time with qualitative data, to see the words and stories from our interviews synthesized into reportable findings is something I’m incredibly excited to see.

And who knows? A project of even greater scope, like a paper or a conference presentation, could come from our analysis as well! Maternity leave is a fascinating policy area to me because its availability and feasibility for a mother can have real impacts on reproductive justice – such as affecting a woman’s decision to have a child if and when she pleases, and how her postpartum work-life balance may be altered as a result of the policy. Factor in critical issues such as socioeconomic status and policy effects can range anywhere from accommodating to debilitating and devastating.

Between ongoing recruitment efforts, quality-checking interview transcripts as they’re completed, and analyzing the riches of data we’ve collected so far, I will have no shortage of tasks on hand this semester. I’m thrilled to take the work I’ve put in and synthesize it into something grander that can speak to the people who need to hear it the most.

Strengthening Convictions for Comprehensive Sex Education

Hello, Newcomb College Institute! My name is Julia Guy, and I am a Tulane junior studying Political Economy and Environmental Studies. This is my fourth session working as a research assistant for Dr. Clare Daniel, but it is my third as part of the Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health internship program. My current project is a continuation of last summer’s work, in which I am compiling a master list of school administration contacts across Louisiana to prepare an IRB proposal for a much larger project assessing the capacity for comprehensive sex education in the Bayou State.

As most of us know, comprehensive sex education is important for public health and reproductive justice for its most practical and autonomous reasons: young adults must know facts about reproductive organs, sexual intercourse and its implications, sexually transmitted infections, and contraceptive methods in order to more completely assess their reproductive options and make choices best for them and their situation. However, the most pressing current event of the past few weeks illustrated a need for CSE beyond one-sided teen pregnancy statistics or gender role-based STI prevention campaigns.

If the topics of sex and our bodies are breached at all in the American classroom, they are often laced with negative, shameful messages about the “proper” way to express sexuality and sexual behavior. Abstinence-only education often draws upon conservative, religious beliefs about morality to try to explicitly link sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage as a degradation of self-worth. Combination programs take a step forward by including information about contraceptive methods, but they often list grim statistics about effectiveness and continue to state that oft-repeated illogical line: “Abstinence is the only 100% effective method to prevent pregnancy and STIs.”

Dr. Ford’s testimony two weeks ago was utterly heartbreaking. Period. However, the national reaction, from the explicit dismissal from my own Texas senators to the toxic comment threads on local news sites, not only angered me, it once again proved that something is gravely missing from what our students are learning about not just their bodies and sexuality, but how to appropriately and respectful treat one another’s. True comprehensive sex education not only teaches the anatomy and process of sex but does so in a manner that presents all reproductive choices and situations as simply that: a choice. A personal choice, like all other individual or bodily choices, to be respected like any other. Of course, we should discuss consent and partner respect in the classroom; many existing programs of different types already do. However, removing stigmas and shameful messaging from how we teach about sex, and incorporating the positive, normal, and exciting parts for both men and women may help begin to bridge the gap so painfully displayed on our most solemn national stage this month.

Continuing Work at the New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center

My name is Kennedy Williams and I am a junior at Tulane University, studying psychology and public health. I had such an amazing summer interning at the New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center, that I knew I needed to find a way to stay on for the fall. Unfortunately, working for free during the school year wasn’t financially feasible for me. Thankfully, Newcomb offers a Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights internship that could fund my internship into the fall semester. I’m so grateful to be able to finish the work I started this summer. I am able to continue to transcribe forensic interviews to be used in sexual assault trials, continue developing the first statewide assessment on human trafficking, and continue to create and implement a No Hit Zone policy in schools in the community. I also have the opportunity this semester to create an educational campaign for high school seniors called College, Sex, and the Law.

 

Reflection of First Few Weeks at Lift Louisiana: An Exposure to Incarcerated Women’s Health Services and Reflection of the Kavanaugh Confirmation

Hi, everyone! My name is Janna (pronounced John-Uh) Mangasep, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Political Economy with a double minor in Mathematics and SLAMM (School of Liberal Arts Management Minor). I am beyond excited to be interning for Lift Louisiana and being a part of Newcomb College Institute’s Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health internship program! As a former intern under the Mayor’s Office of New York City and a former research assistant of tenured professor Celeste Lay in the political science field, I’ve been involved in work somewhat related to the government for the majority of 2018. However, I hadn’t gotten the chance to fully dive into the specific policy areas that I’ve consistently found myself interested in: women’s rights and reproductive justice. While the former entails several causes for concern I could translate into essays and free time spent researching the topic, the latter has been a subject I’ve longed to serve. Therefore, I can definitely say that accepting the communications intern position at Lift has been the easiest choice I’ve ever had to make!

So far, my duties at Lift Louisiana have spanned over several topic areas. To begin with, my supervisor, Michelle Erenberg, gave me the assignment of creating an introduction to a report on incarcerated women in Louisiana’s reproductive and overall health care services (or the lack thereof). An issue I had been unfortunately ignorant on until now, I’ve had the educational experience of researching facts across several studies that exemplify our state’s failure in supplying these women, pregnant or not, with the appropriate services that they deserve as human beings, services that I believe are a given right no matter the institutionalization of the person. This had led to disappointing facts that only recently came to light in my perspective of women’s rights, as I’ve found many cases in which women were horrendously neglected through the forced and painful shackling of their legs (and sometimes even across the stomach) before, during, and after labor.

Other than this ongoing assignment, I’ve also been tasked with writing another blog post, specifically for Lift’s website, in where I had the autonomy in choosing whatever topic I felt was relevant to Lift’s mission. I chose the Kavanaugh hearing and consequential confirmation, an ordeal that has taken a toll on both myself and basically all other women I know. While this has been one of the more personally difficult assignments, it’s allowed me to take a fully informed stance on the case that I may have otherwise not completely considered, as it’s certainly easier to only think of incidents like these in the passing conversations with other students rather than in an entire blog post.

Overall, my experience in Lift has been exciting, albeit difficult in terms of time management and prioritizing in the context of my other engagements. I’m excited to see what comes next!

(Side note: This recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh into the highest court of the land has made plenty of women, including myself, relive traumatic experiences in our sympathy/empathy for Ford’s own sexual assault. For other women and survivors of sexual assault, I highly recommend watching the now-viral SNL cold open of Kavanaugh’s hearing. It’s given me and even my supervisor a good laugh in the midst of this ordeal!)

Image result for kavanaugh snl cold open

Janna

What Have We Learned?

Hello readers! If we haven’t met yet, I’m Amy Vertacnik, and this fall is my second “term” with the Reproductive Rights and Health internship program. I’ll be continuing my research with Dr. Alyssa Lederer on a study exploring the factors associated with STI knowledge in college students. Last summer, I completed a literature review about what our public health community already knows about this topic. This semester, I’ll be supporting Dr. Lederer on her statistical analysis and working to write a manuscript of our findings to submit for publishing.

Little research has been conducted to determine demographic factors related to American college students’ STI knowledge, and none has provided an overview of the factors. This project hopes to help fill that gap. Based on the literature, the following variables will be examined in our manuscript, assuming there is a large enough sample size to do so: gender, year in school (age), race/ethnicity, international student status, and top informal source of information.

Along with writing a manuscript, we are also creating and submitting a poster on this research to the American College Health Association (ACHA) conference with hopes of presenting our poster in the spring. Additionally, this semester, I’ll be helping Dr. Lederer format another research poster on condom use for her presentation at the American Public Health Association (APHA) conference, reformatting references on yet another project, and participating in our women’s research group.

This fall will be a busy “term” but a very exciting one!

 

Reflections at the end of Infant Mortality Awareness Month

When I first got into this work three years ago, I didn’t quite realize exactly what I was getting into. All I knew was that I felt like a minority–not because I was Black, but because I was Black and I was also alive, healthy, attending university, not incarcerated, not burdened by crippling poverty…by all accounts I was doing just fine. I felt like an anomaly because I was the daughter of Black working class teenage parents living in the Deep South and I had made it to 18 without experiencing the personal tragedy, back-breaking tribulations, and life-wrecking traumas that many of those who shared similar backgrounds as myself  were forced to endure. And this fact, along with the realization that the only things separating myself from those peers were my personal privileges broke my heart. But it also ignited a fire in me, because I needed to know why. Why was my path not the norm? Why were Black children more likely to the experience difficult and dangerous childhoods that led to poor adulthood outcomes, or no adulthood at all as their lives were ended too soon? Why did generational cycles persist? And what could I do about it?

My early interests focused primarily on Black children like those living in the city of New Orleans where issues of poverty, violence, and educational achievement are rife. Initially a neuroscience major, I dived into the science of how adverse experiences shape children’s brains, impacting the ways in which they interact with the world, their social skills and coping mechanisms, their cognitive abilities, and even their physiology and later health outcomes. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the answers to my questions wouldn’t be found in individual brains of children. I was looking at biological systems when I needed to be looking at societal ones. Indeed, the problems I wanted to understand didn’t even begin in childhood, but much earlier, even preceding birth. We know that from the start, Black children are behind their White peers in life, more likely to be born at lower weights, and/or born too soon. Increasingly, the evidence shows us that this has to do with the racial discrimination their mothers face over the course of their lives. For more information on this phenomenon, see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5206968/. The dark irony is that these children are born too small, too soon, only to die too soon at higher rates as well, many before they even reach their first year of life (https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/MaternalInfantHealth/InfantMortality.htm.)

Those that survive beyond that first year are still less likely than their White peers to make it to age 20. In 2016, the child and teen death rate for Blacks was 38 per 100,000 of the population compared to 25 per 100,000 of the population for Whites (https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/7752-child-and-teen-death-rate-by-race-and-ethnicity#detailed/1/any/false/870,573,869,36,868,867,133,38,35,18/10,11,9,12,1,13/14941,17850). I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about the causes of mortality for these children and teens when their deaths are so often the subject of news headlines these days.

Note that the primary source for many of the stats I give is the Centers for Disease Control and Infection. Incidentally, I changed my major to public health right around the time my approach to these things began to shift–right around the time I began this internship. Because regardless of what the rhetoric has historically been, issues of reproductive justice and sexual oppression in general are not issues of individual responsibility–they’re public health issues that affect all of us. And the “diseases” in question are racism and sexism and all the other “isms” that intersection with them in the everyday occurrences of people’s lives. They are prolific and they are lethal, and the effects when they intersect and combine are synergistic. Nothing in society is immune to these epidemics–not even our most sanctified, supposedly ethically-sound, institutions (see: hearing of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh yesterday).

Per Sister Song, a key tenet of Reproductive Justice is “the human right to parent the children one already has with the necessary social supports in safe environments and healthy communities, and without fear of violence from individuals or the government” (https://www.trustblackwomen.org/our-work/what-is-reproductive-justice/9-what-is-reproductive-justice). When the murderers of our children go free and unpunished, when our communities lack grocery stores, quality schools, and healthcare facilities, when our government officials are allowed to serve in spite of personal histories colored by misogyny, sexual violence, and racial bias, I think it is safe to say that based on this definition, the world we are living in now is fundamentally unjust.

As I begin mapping out the curriculum for the workshops I will teach for Young Women With A Vision, this is what is on my mind. So I will talk about biology, because it matters–I will talk about the reproductive system, and sexual health, and birth, and the effects of chronic stress and anxiety on the brain and the body and the womb. But I will also talk about society–about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, about legality versus justice, and all the Black people who are no longer with us, whose names blur together because they are too many. I will especially talk about the girls and the women and nonbinary folks who must often fend for themselves as the plight of the Black male is given priority. These are literally matters of life and death. I need the girls in YWWAV–or really everyone–to understand that those stats I mentioned earlier are the norm, but they don’t have to be. They shouldn’t be. I need them to understand that their bodies and minds are valuable and are their own even if society is constantly telling them otherwise. Their children, current and future, matter, and deserve to live, and prosper, and thrive. The first year of life should not be the last year, Black childhood and adolescence should not be synonymous with fear, and Black parenthood should not mean mourning. I should not have felt the need to sigh in relief when I reached 20.

I’m privileged enough to intern with a woman that already understands this–she started YWWAV, and she did this Ted Talk:

You should watch it.

1_DbVNJ7wXq375Q7RsMxlf6Q Mwende Katwiwa, YWWAV Program Director at TEDWomen last year

 

 

Diving into the World of Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast

Hello friends! My name is Isabelle Lian and I am a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Management. I am so excited to be interning with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) and working with NCI this fall semester. These first few weeks have been so interesting and eye-opening! Reproductive rights and reproductive health have been an interest of mine for quite a while, but I have never had the opportunity to truly contribute to the cause.

My responsibilities at Planned Parenthood at this point are centered in the public affairs department. This department is one of the three that are housed at PPGC’s New Orleans branch (the other two being education and communications). As of now, I have worked on several tasks for multiple projects. Over these first three weeks, I have been compiling an Excel spreadsheet of any organizations relevant to PPGC across Louisiana as well as identifying any possible events that PPGC could attend in the future. While practical in a sense that this research is opening up further channels of communication and collaboration among various social justice organizations in Louisiana, this project has helped me become more familiar with non-profit scene in the area.

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Beginning the second and third week, I have been helping the department fine-tune several projects. PPGC will be holding its annual Fall Celebration this coming October 3rd. A huge part of that celebration is gathering present donors to thank them for their contributions and showcasing the accomplishments that PPGC has made over the year. My role in this was to call those donors and respectfully remind them to purchase tickets for the event. Another project was to redesign a volunteer flyer for upcoming canvassing events (pictured on the left). Sign up if you’re free and interested!

This being my first time working internally with a non-profit, there have been many elements that have to be considered. So much work goes down behind the scenes—much of what you see manifested in PPGC education programs and initiates are the culmination of so many minute, yet crucial, details put together. To make the loudest sound, it begins with the smallest specifics.

Ultimately, coming into a new work environment has always been somewhat difficult for me. I like to say that my confidence and comfort grows with experience, so the beginning of this internship was quite daunting to me. Especially as someone from the STEM realm, I felt that I lacked that tie to social justice that is so outwardly apparent for so many others. However, coming to Planned Parenthood has definitely calmed those initial fears. Being surrounded by coworkers who are so dedicated to reproductive health is honestly so inspiring. As a woman of color, it is so great to hear that more people share my same hope for a better future starting with women’s empowerment and fighting for our right to choose what WE think is best for our own bodies.

With that, I am so excited for what is in store! From encouraging personal growth to making a difference in the New Orleans community that I now call home, Planned Parenthood is the place to be!

-Isabelle

Intersection of Civic Duty and Reproductive Justice: My First Weeks as a NOAF Intern

Last year I happened to be walking down McAlister and saw a modest table labeled “New Orleans Abortion Fund.” I’d always had a passion for reproductive justice, but with the recent politics I was feeling, well, defeated. I ended up talking with Amy Irvin for quite some time about NOAF and the work they do. I began to feel inspired again, almost revived, and I wanted to make a difference as soon as I could. I took all of the flyers and reminded myself day after day to get involved. I was already a clinic escort at that point but I knew that NOAF was a special organization.

Fast forward to this summer. As the dog days of summer rolled through I lazily scrolled through my social media and noticed Dr. Daniel had posted something about a Reproductive Rights and Health Internship. Albeit I was worried about my qualifications, I’m an engineering major, and my schedule, I knew that I should at least try (What’s the worst that could happen?). A few weeks later, Amy called me for a phone interview and here I am, NOAF’s Community Canvassing Intern.

To say I was apprehensive was an understatement. I had never canvassed before nor worked with a nonprofit. But after my first few weeks I can say with confidence that I love it. My main project is putting together canvassing events during the week of early voting in October and the day before the election in November. It’s no surprise that the primary election (Nov. 6th) is crucial this year, and our goal for canvassing is to get people to the polls based on the terrible statistics for Louisiana women. In fact, our catchphrase is “Louisiana: The Hardest Place to be a Woman” because, well, it is. In terms of abortion access, something I’ve learned much about since starting, there are only 3 abortion clinics in the entire state, which means 97% of LA women living in parishes without a clinic.

There are many more restrictive, inadequate laws in place to keep Louisiana difficult for women, which is why voting is so important. Change only occurs when we want it to; democracy is in the hands of the people. In these first weeks I’ve met a ton of amazing, dedicated people and I can’t wait to meet many more. I’m excited for NOAF Get Out The Vote (GOTV) canvassing and the change that we can bring.

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Yours truly (in the vulva and on the right) at NOAF’s 5th Annual Sex Ed Bingo at Bayou Beer Garden. Safe to say we got some interesting looks from others at the restaurant. 

**Any interested in canvassing please email me at intern@neworleansabortionfund.org

And remember, #GeauxVote!