Following up on the Intro to Reproductive Justice and Intersectionality with Dr. Colleen McNicholas and Pamela Merritt, come dive into the topic with small group discussions on the criminalization of reproduction and how we can have courageous conversations on sexual health.
Part 1: Access vs. Criminalization
Tuesday, April 27, 7-8pm ET
Conservative politics has capitalized on a multitude of strategies to perpetuate the framework of preferred reproduction. Among the many consequences, criminalization of pregnant people and those who care for them demands urgent attention. In this session, attendees will learn about the intricate web of state and local level restrictions contributing to the erosion of autonomy in reproductive health care, specifically those that have resulted in the targeting, prosecution, and incarceration of pregnant people. Facilitators will take participants through examples and encourage participants to apply the concepts of intersectionality and reproductive justice introduced in the first session to identify ways they can use their voice and power to make change.
Part 2: Courageous Conversations
Tuesday, May 4, 7-8pm ET
Courageous conversations involve difficult to broach subjects and/or individuals who are polarized on an issue. They are the sort of conversations that can stir vivid emotions on either side, and many people avoid them in an effort to keep the peace. Avoiding courageous conversations about abortion perpetuates stigma and allows those opposed to abortion to frame the issue uncontested. In this session, facilitators will share tips on how to avoid stigmatizing language and how to engage in courageous conversations about reproductive and sexual health.
Tuesdays, April 27 and May 4, 7-8pm ET.
Dr. Colleen McNicholas is a graduate of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. She went on to complete her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, her Fellowship in Family Planning, and her Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis. She joined Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri as the first ever Chief Medical Officer after a decade in academic medicine. As an OB/GYN, and specialist in family planning and abortion care she lives out her personal and professional commitment to abortion access by providing clinical care in 4 states across the Midwest and South. Dr. McNicholas believes that a physician’s advocacy voice is as important as their clinical and surgical skill. She has grown into an unapologetic and vocal advocate engaging in every available medium. She has been the plaintiff to numerous challenges of state and federal laws and regulations and has testified in the state capital and in front of Congress in defense of patient-physician relationships and the importance of using science and evidence in the creation of health policy. She is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and has been recognized by a diversity of organizations for her leadership and advocacy.
Pamela Merritt is the Executive Director of Medical Students for Choice, where she leads a dynamic team working to create tomorrow’s abortion providers and pro-choice physicians. With more than 13 years of leadership in the reproductive justice space, Pamela has worked tirelessly to advance progressive policy through advocacy and outreach at Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri and Progress Missouri. Most recently, she co-founded and served as the co-director of Reproaction, a national organization that leads bold action to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. Pamela is a founding member of the Trust Black Women Partnership, and was a 2017 Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice Fellow at the Rockwood Leadership Institute. She is a member of the Guttmacher Institute’s Board of Directors, Honorary Chair of Reproaction’s Advisory Council, and is a member of the Our Bodies Ourselves Today Leadership Council.