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‘The fight for feminism and reproductive justice is real, and it is hard’

‘The fight for feminism and reproductive justice is real, and it is hard’

"I support Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon because I am passionate about feminist activism and reproductive justice. A few years ago, I took my first women’s studies class when I was a student at a private university in New Orleans. At the time I had no idea what I wanted to do with my education or my life, and I found myself just going through the motions in the 'work hard, play hard' environment around me. Many of my peers in the class seemed uninterested in their first academic introduction to feminism, but I loved it. Eventually I came back to my home state of Oregon and immersed myself in learning more about feminism at Portland State University. While I know that we can apply feminism to almost everything our country is struggling with right now, my specific interest narrowed in on reproductive justice because I am appalled with how hard women must still fight for their human rights.

"Just as I was becoming more passionate about reproductive justice, I found an opportunity to join Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon as an Advocacy Fellow. It was an eye-opening experience that has fired me up to continue this important work. The most powerful moment I witnessed came at a Hillsboro School District meeting that addressed a controversial proposal to prescribe birth control without parental notification at a school-affiliated clinic. Listening to all the testimonies, the opposition heavily outnumbered those of us in support of young people’s rights to reproductive health care. Still, it was hard to predict the result up until the final vote hours later. In the end, the board voted against prescribing birth control at all. The three women on the board voted in favor, but the four men outnumbered them. After the meeting I was completely shaken by how women’s bodies were being controlled, and I knew what kind of real consequences this would have for young people in Hillsboro. Even though we lost this battle, I learned a critical lesson: The fight for feminism and reproductive justice is real, and it is hard. I still have a lot to learn as an advocate, but I feel more passionate than ever about continuing this fight.

"Without Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, I never would have witnessed how crucial its work is both at health centers and in politics. I absolutely support the health care, education and advocacy Planned Parenthood provides to women, men and families all over the country."

A former Spring Advocacy Fellow for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, Sierra Prior is pursuing a master’s degree in public health at Oregon State University.

Posted on July 27, 2016 in News.
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