SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Inc. responds to the signing of HB481 in Atlanta, Georgia

SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Inc. responds to the signing of HB481 in Atlanta, Georgia

Tuesday, May 7, 2019:

In considering GA’s extremely inferior and detrimental health crisis, especially amongst Black women and Queer, Trans and nonbinary folks, SPARK is dedicated to pursuing  proactive ways of advancing our healthcare systems, practices and outcomes. Unfortunately, our legislators have decided to play politics with Georgians and we are now here to discuss how the government has inserted itself in our personal and private life decisions by enforcing an abortion ban. To be clear, this abortion ban is a ban on health care.

It is forced pregnancy bill that denies a person their right to self-determination and bodily autonomy. This is a critical public health issue and if this ban is put in place, it will become an injurious public health crisis for this state. We can not afford this! Georgia already has the worst maternal health outcomes and maternal morbidity AND mortality rates in our nation, comparable to the maternal health outcomes of underdeveloped countries.

Georgians deserve policies and laws that eliminate systemic and structural barriers to adequate reproductive and comprehensive care, and provide universal and meaningful access to quality healthcare.

Put simply, when people lack access to safe abortion services, they die. Period. History, our current stories, and public health research/data proves that. Complications of unsafe abortions are among the leading causes of maternal illness and death. Lack of access –and now restriction of access — will not result in people not having abortions. This will only result in an increased amount of unsafe abortions. This is a critical reproductive justice and public health issue specifically for Black, brown, indigenous, Trans and Queer folks who already have severe limitations to access to affordable and affirming reproductive and sexual health services and healthcare coverage.

SPARK and our partners will continue to do the work of ending white supremacy, patriarchy and attacks on bodily autonomy. Please do not be discouraged, stay engaged and stay vigilant! We will continue to work with our legislative champions, as well as, community leaders to put forth a proactive Reproductive Justice agenda that aims to save lives and uplift our shared liberation.

For more information on SPARK and how to stay civically engaged contact:

Dr. Krystal Redman
Executive Director
SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Inc
info@sparkrj.org
www.sparkrj.org

SPARK’S 2019 FYRE Applications are open!

Calling all creatives! SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2019 FYRE Media Justice Camp! This year’s FYRE Camp, Read to Filth, seeks to hold an intentional space for Queer and Trans young people of color and cis Black women in the South. We intend to hold this space for movement building and elevating our voices through the creation of a ZINE!

A zine is a compilation of illustrations, poems, narratives, essays, and photos that typically follow a central theme! The theme for this zine is “Our Lives, Our Stories.”

So, if you’re a photographer, writer, poet, illustrator, or you’re interested in learning more about these creative outlets in relation to Reproductive Justice…this is the camp for you!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CAMP AND HOW TO APPLY!

SPARK has a new If/When/How RJ Fellow!

For ten years, If/When/How’s Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program (RJFP) has fueled a growing and powerful group of new legal advocates who are part of a one-of-a-kind legal fellowship for law school graduates who want to change the face of RJ lawyering. To date, the RJFP has launched the careers of 74 lawyers who have a passion for reproductive rights and justice, placing them at both local and national nonprofits from coast to coast.

Today, If/When/How is proud to announce the RJFP’s tenth cohort, and to introduce the world to these powerful advocates who are lawyering for reproductive justice. If/When/How Fellows in the RJ Federal program spend a year with a window on Washington, D.C., and our RJ State and RJ-HIV program Fellows help build power for the movement at placement organizations in Tennessee, Georgia, and California that are working at the intersection of myriad issues to promote reproductive justice for all people.

[CLICK HERE for the rest of the article!]

SPARK is hiring!

SPARK is hiring a community organizer!

Reporting directly to the Director of Programs, the Community Organizer is responsible for galvanizing members, organizations, and communities to lead and win community centered campaigns to increase awareness, build knowledge, visibility, power, and leadership for reproductive justice. This position requires the ability to respond to the immediate threats our communities are facing (direct actions and mobilizations) while building towards lasting, social change (base building, political education, health education and leadership development).

The Community Organizer will also help broaden our positive leadership development approach to a broader social and reproductive analysis and cross movement approach to reach and strengthen the impact of our successes in grassroots organizing and advocacy. The Community Organizer will also lead and participate in health advocacy program development, internship programs, community outreach events, tabling, conferences, research/data collection, and increasing statewide presence.

CLICK HERE for more information about the position and how to apply!

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.