Let’s talk about sex, baby

Before the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago, abortions were still performed in nonsterile back-alley rooms, often not by trained physicians, by methods such as the wire hanger, which often ended in the death of the patient. Some estimate that nearly  1.2 million abortions were performed in the United States annually in the years leading up to Roe. This case ruled to legalize abortion in every state. 

Since then, pro-life citizens and government officials have been fighting to make abortion illegal again . Additionally, several southern states, such as Texas, have pushedanti-transgender legislation. 

These restrictions on healthcare make it more difficult for women to receive the treatment they need. 

So far, Georgia has been able to move around these legislations, for now. 

Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta is an all-encompassing women’s health care with services ranging from sexual health and wellness to various sexual health services  and transgender healthcare. 

They take pride in providing a safe place for women to get the care they need without judgment.

“We are unapologetically a Black woman-led, independent, non-profit, multi-generational, multi-racial reproductive health, rights and justice organization,” Executive Director Kwajelyn Jackson said in a letter. 

“[We are] committed to a vision of accessible and judgment-free reproductive health care and access in the south for all who need it. [We] will not shy away from the tough conversations and reckoning  necessary for us to more fully live into our values and become the organization that our community needs us to be.”

In 2019, they treated 5,089 patients. 3,363 were abortion cases,  and 1,726 were sexual health and wellness patients, including trans health initiative. 

During COVID-19, the number of women they were able to help dropped by about 2,000, but  they provided basic care services despite the pandemic. 

Since  2000, they have offered health care to transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex individuals.

“Professional and wonderful staff,” a patient said. “Made a girl feel like she wasn’t alone in this world during one of the most vulnerable times in my life.”

These reproductive rights issues disproportionately affect women of color and inequity that Feminist Center is trying to correct. 

Black women are 3-5 times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. 

Tennis star Serena Williams is a living example, as she faced life-threatening failures in her care in the time surrounding her childbirth.

“Being heard and appropriately treated was the difference between life or death for me,” Williams said. I know those statistics would be different if the medical establishment listened to every black woman’s experience.”

Feminist Center also works with Black Mamas Matter, an organization centered on  liberating Black mothers, Black families and black care systems.

Feminist Center said they are more than a clinic, they are a movement. 

They developed community programs that specifically seek to address the systematic inequalities in healthcare and society that affect women, people of color, immigrant families and people from the trans and LGBQIA+ communities. 

Their various community programs are geared to help these specific communities. Their community programs include The Lifting Latinx Voices Initiative (LLVI), Errin J. Vuley Fellows Program, and a Legislative Advocacy Program.

The Lifting Latinx Voices Initiative (LLVI) is the only Latinx-led program in Georgia that addresses comprehensive reproductive and sexual health issues faced by Latinx families. 

They offer workshops, training, and house parties to address the challenges of language barriers, immigration status and the cultural stigma attached to sex and abortion.

Feminist Center also looks at all the issues surrounding reproductive justice and holds events to bring awareness. 

Thursday and Friday night, they had a game night where attendants could check their voter registration status and register to vote. Apr. 20 , they had free COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

Students who need any of the provided services can make an appointment on the website. And students wishing to intern, volunteer, participate in events or start a career with Feminist Women’s Health Center can also find resources on the website. https://feministcenter.org/