WHY DO WE NEED A DISCUSSION AMONGST WOMEN'S HEALTH ACTIVISTS ABOUT THE NEED FOR A UNIFIED APPROACH TO WOMEN'S SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS?
By Carol Downer
I am attending the MANA conference this October 24-27 in Portland, Oregon. I will be setting up an exhibit table, distributing flyers, displaying our books, selling speculums and talking to conference attendees. I will have a display that draws attention to the main issues in women’s reproductive and sexual health and graphically shows that they are interrelated and inseparable from one another.
MANA is expecting between 300-500 conference attendees comprised of midwives, nurses, physicians, childbirth educators, doulas, parents, midwifery students, and childbirth advocates. I hope that 300-400 attendees will pass by my booth and see the display which features an array of photos of women in childbirth, women having abortions, birth control methods, nursing babies and our books “A New View of a Woman’s Body” to create the image of the interrelatedness of these events in women’s lives. I hope to to be able to have a meaningful interaction with at least one hundred people, and that many more will take one or more pamphlets or flyers to look at later.
I hope to get the conversation going around the need for pro-choice feminists to embrace the cause of natural childbirth and nursing and the corresponding need for midwives, doulas and other birth workers to wholeheartedly support women’s rights to sex education, birth control and abortion.
I also hope to learn more about the extent and the nature of the persecution of midwives.