Let’s Talk About Sex!
by Heaven Lee Kim (Reproductive Justice Coordinator) and Libby Branham (YVK Doula Project Coordinator)
In August, we were given the exciting opportunity to attend the Let’s Talk About Sex (LTAS) Conference in Dallas, Texas, representing Tewa Women United. The conference was hosted by SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a Southern-based national membership organization whose purpose is to build an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.
Our time at LTAS was incredibly meaningful and nourishing. We were grateful to be in a space that was centered around Black, Indigenous, non-white folks who are all doing reproductive justice work, whether as part of a greater organization or on a personal level, to ensure that everybody has the right to bodily autonomy and that people have complete and unrestricted access to all of the information, resources, and healthcare they need to be able to live full and authentic lives. We were able to attend informative sessions around the full spectrum of reproductive justice including abortion care, sexual health and pleasure, body love, the history of violence on Black and Indigenous people, spirituality, systems of funds and mutual aid, birth justice, and queerness at the heart of the movement. These were just a few in a wide-ranging collection of sessions.
There was heavy emphasis on solidarity within different communities and organizations because this work cannot be done individually but is powerful and undeniable when done as a collective, uplifting the voices of those who are already marginalized in dominant society. It was very pertinent that the conference was held in Texas and although that was not in reaction to recent laws, it was a display of the resilience of horizontal BIPOC organizing. Organizers and advocates from states that have the most restrictive laws and bans reminded us to not disregard and ignore the states and communities that are hardest hit. These communities have had limited to no access to reproductive healthcare even before Roe but have always been doing the groundwork and will continue to do the tough work needed towards self-determination through collaborative community systems of care and organizing.
We returned home feeling rejuvenated and inspired to continue the work with Tewa Women United in serving our local communities. You can join in the reproductive justice work by supporting local and national organizations.
Local organizations to support:
- Indigenous Women Rising
- Changing Woman Initiative
- Mariposa Fund
- Breath of My Heart
- Black Health New Mexico
- New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
- Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
- New Mexico Doula Association
Here are some great organizations to support outside of New Mexico:
- SisterSong Birth Justice Care Fund
- Queer Trans Midwives Association
- Southern Birth Justice
- National Network of Abortion Funds
- Frontera Fund
- Feminist Women’s Health Center
- We Testify
- Repro Legal Defense Fund
- Afiya Center
- Austin Justice Coalition
- If When How – Lawyering for Reproductive Justice