Reproductive Freedom Day, 2009
Celebrate Reproductive Freedom Day, March 24, 2009
With support from the Bixby Program, three UCLA MPH students from the Community Health Sciences Department—Cristina Rodriquez-Hart, Aimee Williams, and Laura Camberos—attended Reproductive Freedom Day in Sacramento on March 24, 2009. The annual event is organized by the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF), an association of over 50 organizations throughout California working to achieve reproductive justice and health.
Reproductive Freedom Day began with a welcome from CCRF’s President, Belle Taylor-McGhee, who is also the President and CEO of Pacific Institute for Women’s Health. Participants had the option of attending one of the following workshops: advocacy, reproductive health 101, youth, Proposition 8 (equality of marriage), Proposition 4 (parental notification of abortion) or Latino reproductive health (in Spanish). They also attended a panel discussion on SB 810 (Leno), the California Universal Health Care Act, which they were to advocate for with legislative offices later in the day. In CCRF’s view, achieving universal health care is a critical step on the path to reproductive justice, and California should not wait for a federal solution.
Over lunch, participants discussed legislative visit strategies and practiced what they would say to legislative staff. Afterwards, groups walked from the Sacramento Convention Center to the capital building (a block away) and spoke with legislators and staff members. At the end of the afternoon, participants reassembled for a debriefing on their experiences with legislators. The final event was a two-person panel, honoring an older and younger activist for their contributions, and giving participants a chance to ask them questions. In sum, the event was well-attended, well-organized, and a great learning experience for those who have little experience in the policy side of public health.