Reproductive freedom is a problem in this country. Politicians (mostly male) everywhere are trying to limit women’s access to birth control and abortion clinics, and are passing regulations and laws to make sure schools teach abstinence-only sex education.
I think everybody everywhere believes that an abortion is not a pleasant procedure, though it is very safe. However, I think it should be available to women everywhere without some of the limits like the twenty-four hour rule, forcing the woman to look at the screen during the procedure, and the requirement for a guardian’s signatures for under-age women. For the people who are pro-life because of religious reasons: women were put onto this planet by God with the unbelievable ability to carry and birthe a child, and I think the choice of what to do with that should be up to her. I wrote more about this in my first blog post.
For my original research, I was able to speak to Adrienne Ralston of the Options Industry Council of America, a non-profit organization. Ms. Ralston’s work is to educate today’s youth about sexual health, and its dangers, options, and circumstances. I greatly enjoyed speaking with Ms. Ralston, and I learned a ton. We spoke for over an hour and I asked her many questions, and it was amazing to receive the insights of somebody who’s immersed in the reproductive freedom and choice world every day.
One of the first questions I asked her was about what ways Philadelphia is successful when it comes to educating people about reproductive freedom. She answered that Philadelphia has a very involved community of people, organizations, and companies that are focused on educating the public - especially young people. She said that, compared to other places in the US, Philly is a great place to be to learn about reproduction rights and resources in general.
However, there is still a ways to go. I followed the previous question with one regarding specific topics about which people lack knowledge and education. She responded that STDs and HIV infections were overlooked and underestimated topics in our city, and not thought about nearly enough. Philly apparently has five times more cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea than the national average, which is scary to think about and is a result of the ignorance about these things.
Ms. Ralston and I spoke about many other things, but those were two that I thought I’d share. It was a great experience to hear her thoughts, and I would not change a thing about it. There were no obstacles, other than the beforehand communication. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we set the interview up, since I’d never met Ms. Ralston. I was very lucky - it went smoothly and easily, and I had fun. As of now, I cannot think of anything else I wish I had asked her. I am curious to find out more about the different ways people can help reproductive freedom and sexual education, and I hope that I have or will inspire others to do the same.
For my agent of change, I will find a petition that needs many signatures and help to get names from my community onto that. I’ll try to find one that is about sexual health in some way, whether it’s about abortions, sexual health insurance, or contraception.
Screenshot of the end of our phone call
Screenshot of the recording of our conversation
https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Adrienne%20Ralston%20Talk%20Copy.m4a?_subject_uid=400656945&w=AACJJYVCA094wdN0LIBZeoWlYPxXJktVKVS9jyeJovy1kQ (link to Dropbox recording)Annotated Bibliography