An estimated 1,000 students, activists and leaders in the movement for reproductive freedom gathered at a conference at Hampshire College to celebrate the end of a political administration they viewed as relentlessly attacking reproductive and sexual rights. From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom was sponsored by the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program and the Population and Development Program.
Reproductive rights leaders say that despite positive winds of change blowing in Washington, storm clouds remain on the horizon. The economic recession, the persistent power of the Right, domestic and state violence, environmental degradation and climate change, lack of access to health care, widening inequality nationally and globally – all these factors pose real and potential threats to reproductive and sexual rights.
Over 50 conference workshops explored these issues and more, highlighting successful examples of activism and how struggles for reproductive and sexual rights are intricately linked to movements for economic, social and environmental justice and peace. Friday workshops ran from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Speakers included leaders of national and international organizations: Salimata Bocuum is a regional coordinator for the African Women’s Millennium Initiative on Poverty and Human Rights (AWOMI), which works to empower impoverished women and youth. Silvia Henriquez has positioned the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) as one of the leading organizations working to advance the reproductive health and rights of Latinas. Alex McNeill is the associate director of development at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Full list of conference speakers and workshops