SPARK’s Statement on Brett Kavanaugh

Atlanta, GA; Thursday, October 4, 2018: SPARK Reproductive Justice Now, Inc, is dedicated to uplifting the well being of Black Women, Women of Color and Queer/Trans Young People of Color. Currently, the US Senate is debating on whether to confirm a nominee who has already been proven to be dishonest in his answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and who now is being accused of sexual assault by multiple accusers. SPARK believes in fairness and restorative justice; however, we see that this is not what is taking place during this whole process. The White House has made a sham out of this investigation and we are not confident in the report that was released to Senators this morning.

This nominee is problematic even without all of the baggage of multiple sexual assault accusations; Brett Kavanaugh would overturn Roe Vs. Wade, strip voting rights, and vote against environmental protections. Mr. Kavanaugh was overtly political when trying to defend himself against these multiple accusations; he has proven that he is not impartial, and he does not have the temperament to receive a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the land. Kavanaugh voted against an immigrant minor seeking an abortion and he refers to birth control as abortion inducing drugs which is patently false, so this man just doesn’t understand simple science. Please join SPARK in contacting your Senators and other representatives to tell them to vote No on confirming this dangerous nominee.

Justice Doesn’t Trickle Down

A class-only approach is not only wrong; it is also wrong-headed. We need a woman-focused economic agenda that is intersectional, broad, and deep. SPARK Executive Director, Dr. Krystal Redman, outlined how to do this in a newly-released paper with Ms. Foundation For Women.

The report was also the subject of a Salon article where Dr. Redman is quoted in reference to the gendered and racialized disparities and inequities that have come to characterize the U.S. health system:

Krystal Redman, whose work with SPARK Reproductive Justice Now is highlighted in the report, agreed. “Accessibility to coverage is important,” Redman explained over the phone, noting that racial and gendered barriers to care don’t “solely go away just because someone has coverage.”

 

“There are many providers who have their own ideas of how a patient should be treated based on how they present,” Dr. Redman said.

 

As an example, Redman argued that a black woman with four children who goes to the gynecologist is more likely to be pushed into a long-acting form of contraception than a similarly situated white woman, who is more likely to have a chance to engage in dialogue with a doctor about whether she wants any more children.

 

Another huge example of the limits of an economics-only framework is the way that law enforcement treats white people differently than black and brown people. Just this week, Redman said, she had personal experience with that. Her husband, “a dark-skinned black man, tall, dreads, everything like that,” was pulled over “because the cop said he was following too closely behind another vehicle,” she claimed.

 

“We can’t overcome those small heart-flashes of, ‘Oh God, am I going to be safe?’” when things like that happen, she said, and that’s why “we need to center race” in the progressive movement.

 

The Pillars Of Equity

Participants listen to remarks from a speaker at the International Women’s Day rally in the shadow of Trump Tower, Wednesday March 8, 2017, in New York. Image c/o AP/Bebeto Matthews.

SPARK Board Chair, Heidi Williamson, recently published a research paper with the Center For American Progress on the pillars of reproductive justice:

Reproductive health and rights are inextricably linked with reproductive justice. The five key pillars that should be at the core of an economic agenda to address the needs of women and their families are:

  • Self-determination
  • Access to comprehensive reproductive health services
  • Affordability of care
  • Parenting with respect and dignity
  • Workplace and caregiving supports

Each pillar represents a key component that all women need to thrive and be healthy. These pillars are valuable individually but are also mutually reinforcing to anchor a policy agenda that meets the intersectional needs of working women.

Read the rest of the paper here and tell us what #RJmeans to you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

We are not alone!

Spark Reads

Following a slew of aggressive executive orders that include a global gag rule that restricts abortion funding, we’ve collected some of articles written by our partners, allies and advocates that will help put it all in perspective.

Get informed.

Stay informed.

  • Black women are leading movement through the Trump administration. Read New Voices’ La’Tasha Mayes’ response to the 44th Anniversary of Roe V Wade here.

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