SPARK was featured, again!

Activists shifting abortion debate to focus on human rights
USA Today, March 5, 2019

With the future of abortion rights on the verge of changing like no time since before Roe v. Wade, advocates are presenting new arguments to plead their cases.

Both sides have amped up messaging in an effort to intertwine human rights and abortion since the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and the precarious health and potential retirement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In addition, abortion proponents and opponents have strongly reacted to President Trump’s changes to Title X, a federal grant program that provides reproductive health care and birth control to low-income Americans. The new rule would block federal grant funding to family planning facilities, such as Planned Parenthood, which provide abortions. [KEEP READING BY CLICKING HERE]

SPARK was featured!

How generations born after Roe v. Wade are leading the country’s abortion debate
USA Today, March 5, 2019

 Younger generations of pro and anti-abortion advocates are digging in their heels and preparing for a long, drawn-out legal battle as President Trump alters access to reproductive care and courts across the country continue to rule on abortion.

This past week Trump released proposed changes to Title X, a federal grant program that allocates funding for reproductive health care and contraceptives to low-income populations. The rule change would cut federal funding to family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood that provide referrals for abortions.  [KEEP READING BY CLICKING HERE]

SPARK’s Policy Update!

Please use www.legis.ga.gov to follow the legislation!

Currently, SPARK is supporting the following:

HB 475– This legislation is referred to as “Dignity Behind Bars” and would allow more access to menstrual care products for all incarcerated persons as well as more assistance with pumping for parents who have just given birth in order to get their breast milk to caregivers.

HB 280– This is anti-shacking legislation. Currently incarcerated pregnant persons can be shackled during labor and this bill aims to end this practice.

HB 188 – This is the culmination of the work that SPARK has been doing throughout 2018 around Crisis Pregnancy Centers aka Fake Clinics. This legislation would end the $2 million dollar grant program that takes from our Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to give to Fake Clinics who are unregulated and give misinformation around abortion and reproductive healthcare such as claims that abortion causes breast cancer and that condoms don’t work. The money would go back to the Dept. of Health in order for them to do the great work around STI’s, HIV, and Maternal Mortality that is sorely needed at this time in Georgia.

SPARK is working with our partners to fight back against the following anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ bills:

HB 546 – This legislation is known as a “trigger” ban and it means that if Roe vs. Wade (the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion) is overturned, then abortion would be immediately outlawed in Georgia.

SB 221 – This legislation has been at the statehouse before, it’s an anti-LGBTQ bill masquerading as “Religious Freedom”. It would make it legal for public facing businesses to refuse service to people whom they do not agree with for Religious reasons

SB 218/HB 481 – This legislation is known as the “heartbeat” bill and would make abortion illegal after a heartbeat can be detected which can be as early as 6 weeks; a time frame during which most people don’t know yet that they are pregnant.

Please reach out to your State Representatives to praise them and encourage them to pass our proactive legislation and tell them to stop these anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ bills.
Go to openstates.org and put in your address to find out who your State Representatives are.

New Volunteer Opportunity!

Let’s Phone Bank!

There will be a Marta Referendum Vote in Gwinnett County on March 19th.

The question will read: “Gwinnett County has executed a contract for the provision of transit services, dated as of August 2nd, 2018. Shall this contract be approved? Yes _No_”

Help us make calls to inform the community about this important election.
Training will be provided!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Announcing SPARK’s New Alliance!

SEARE is a regional partnership working to align Reproductive Rights, Health, and Justice organizations serving diverse communities in the Southeast.
Join us Tuesday, February 26th for a special “Collective Voices” webinar where we will introduce SEARE!
During this webinar you will have an opportunity to (1) hear from each anchor organization and learn more about their work and their role in the Alliance; and (2) gain a deeper understanding of the mission, core values, short and long term goals of this alliance.

We are excited to share this new partnership with our movement family!

VISIT seare.org FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ALLIANCE

TOMORROW! Queering Wellness!

Spark Reproductive Justice NOW! and Osatyam present Queering Wellness: A Healing Series.

Join us in our second session of the Queering Wellness Series, titled “Meditation.”

Queering Wellness is a series focused on transmuting oppression-based trauma for queer folks in Atlanta through a series of whole self-nurturing practices. The series consists of 3 sessions, each building upon the skills of the last to guide folks in tailoring a more complete personal wellness practice.

Meditation is a way to calm the mind and find your center.

This second session is an exploration into meditation. Come comfy & ready to practice. Food & tea provided.

**Queer and Trans folx will be prioritized at this event, but all are welcome**

Queering Wellness is a series! Stay tuned into SPARK and Osatyam for more information about the rest of our sessions!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Crisis Pregnancy Center Bill Announcement!

Atlanta, GA, Monday, February 11, 2019

SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Inc. is excited to announce that our work around Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs)—aka Fake clinics—is moving forward with HB 188; which will put an end to the grant program that gives 2 million dollars from our state budget to unregulated CPCs.

These clinics exist to shame people away from making the decision of obtaining an Abortion, as well as, give misleading information around Abortion, Sexual and Reproductive Health. State Representative Renitta Shannon —who is a Reproductive Justice champion—has sponsored the legislation and we look forward to working with her to move this piece of legislation forward.

A link to access HB188 is posted below.
http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20192020/HB/188

SPARK will highlight this bill and speak more about what it entails at our upcoming “LegislateThis!” annual advocacy day at the State Capitol. Come meet Rep. Shannon who will also deliver the keynote speech.

To attend, please register via the link below.
http://bit.ly/legislatethis

For more information contact:
SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!
Info@sparkrj.org

SPARK Responds to the State of the Union Address

Atlanta, GA, Friday, February 8, 2019

Coming off the heels of the longest government shutdown ever, Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union Address earlier this week. Though billed as one of unity and bipartisanship, this speech was a clear mobilization effort for Trump’s base. Trump pushed very polarizing policies and ideals for the entirety of his speech, including spending a significant amount of time promoting and demanding a border wall, to calling for an abortion ban that is based on misguided and incorrect information.

As anticipated, Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address made it clear that he would stop at nothing to limit the rights of immigrant families, restrict reproductive rights, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and ignore and facilitate voter suppression tactics. This speech further emphasized the plight of our marginalized communities, including Black women, women of color and queer and trans people of color.

In response to Donald Trump’s second State of the Union Address, Stacey Abrams provided an alternative take on what America should be and how we can achieve that reality. She exuded true leadership throughout her honest and open speech, that began with a heartwarming anecdote about her family. Abrams promoted an America that is rooted in unity, compassion, hope, fairness and a commitment to the success and wellness of our neighbors.

Stacey Abrams’ response called for safer schools, a lower cost of higher education, compassionate treatment at the borders, expansion of Medicaid, lower cost of healthcare, action against climate change, a stop to voter suppression and action against the maternal mortality rates that are dis-proportionality high within the Black community.

This administration has made and is making every effort to oppress the folks in our communities. It is through the efforts that were laid out by Stacey Abrams that this oppression can be combated. It is through the solidarity between the women Members of Congress, as seen in their all white, that this oppression can be combated.

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! will continue to fight for these marginalized communities, until every Black woman, woman of color, and queer and trans person of color has the resources and tools to make decisions about their bodies, their communities, and their futures.

Erin Gloster
Digital Communications and Development Coordinator
SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!

SPARK Presents JusticeNow 2020!

Spark Reproductive Justice NOW! presents JusticeNow 2020, a cross-movement power building and power shifting national conference. This conference will bring together activists, advocates, artists, movement leaders, organizers, community members, students, educators, policy makers, public health professionals, researchers, scientists and funders, all within a multitude of movements.

JusticeNow 2020 will center conversations and strategies on interconnected issues related to Reproductive Justice. Our goal is to provide an intentional and inimitable space for folx to unite for the advancement ofReproductive Justice!

Through interactive workshops, sessions, panels and plenaries, attendees will have the opportunity to access information and resources, while planning, strategizing and engaging on issues that cross all social justice movements. JusticeNow 2020 provides a forum for the interdisciplinary presentation of ideas, thoughts, research and inquiry related to the liberation of historically marginalized and criminalized communities.

Be on the lookout for more information about JusticeNow 2020, including our save the date, call for proposals, call for sponsors and registration.

Let’s take charge of the conversations that center Our Bodies, Our Communities and Our Futures. Let’s demand JusticeNow!

If you would like to receive JusticeNow 2020 information directly to your email CLICK HERE to sign up for our newsletter!