NEW BEDFORD — Celebrating its very first anniversary, Our Bodies Our Life Coalition put in the 12 months loaded with activism toward reproduction justice and legal rights for bodily autonomy in the SouthCoast space — now it is really inquiring the community to sign up for in the struggle.
“We are worried about the negative well being consequences, especially health and fitness of women and transgender people of shade and decrease financial position in our space,” stated Andrew Pollock, president of the SouthCoast LGBTQ+ Community. “They seem to endure the most due to the fact they never have the assets to go to Providence or other destinations.”
Why was the coalition developed?
The coalition was created in response to the June 24, 2022 Supreme Court Dobbs selection overturning Roe v. Wade. Pollock claimed the coalition works to deliver alongside one another SouthCoast folks, organizations and organizations to defend the flexibility that is basic to every man or woman — the ideal to command their own bodies.
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To investigate the availability of community resources, the Coalition conducted a study of local agencies and providers. The survey located that a assortment of reproductive expert services are offered to South Coastline people, though organizations documented that they give contraception, gender-affirming care and help in cases of sexual assault. However, no community corporations offered medication or surgical abortion solutions.
Several organizations described the want for extra extensive, cost-effective and obtainable providers.
Performing with co-chair Gail Fortes of YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts, they function to make confident there is accessible and respectful health care care as perfectly as good quality instruction, housing and employment prospects to all men and women but precisely women of all ages and transgender individuals.
The SouthCoast has been labeled an ‘abortion desert’
According to Pollock, the SouthCoast continues to be an “abortion desert” with the nearest services supplied in Attleboro or tricky to accessibility for South Coast inhabitants without car transportation.
With the assistance of the Women’s Fund SouthCoast, a $25,000 fund was granted to the coalition to aid harmless journey, lodging and childcare for South Coastline individuals seeking abortion treatment.
In July 2023, Pollock explained a single regional company, Well being Imperatives, introduced that it would get started providing treatment abortion at each of its 7 spots, which includes Howland Location in New Bedford.
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To address the absence of surgical abortion solutions, Our Bodies Our Life opened up a dialogue with representatives of Southcoast Well being, the biggest supplier of clinical products and services on the South Coastline, about the probability of presenting surgical abortions in its services. The coalition engaged with the Board of Administrators of Southcoast Wellbeing.
In addition to abortion treatment, the coalition expressed considerations about obtainable solutions for women of all ages of coloration with significant rates of maternal mortality and morbidity.
Our Bodies Our Lives requires extra local community assist
Since then, the coalition has been current for quite a few other functions in New Bedford this kind of as the women’s march from Buttonwood Park to the New Bedford Community Library on July 9, staffed an informational table at the Oct. 2022 film screening of “The Janes,” co-sponsored by Cinema New Bedford and the Heart for Women of all ages, joined with the New Bedford YWCA for Advocacy Day at the State House in May possibly 2023, and attended New Bedford Pleasure thirty day period gatherings in June 2023 to guidance the community LGBTQ+ local community.
“Our Bodies Our Life has been alarmed at the swift increase in anti-trans legislation across the nation, with numerous bans on gender-affirming care for younger folks,” extra Pollock, who also claimed the coalition is deeply anxious that bodily autonomy is getting eroded for some of the most susceptible inhabitants of our country.
“The right to handle one’s individual system is a fundamental human ideal at the heart of the coalition’s priorities.”
Now the coalition needs a lot more support from the community to assistance with potential demonstrations to seem to persons in electrical power as it heads into its second yr — a 12 months in which will be its most important to day.
“We need a lot more folks to display why this is a thing significant in the SouthCoast,” Pollock added.
Conventional-Instances staff members writer Seth Chitwood can be attained at [email protected]. Observe him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Guidance regional journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Conventional-Situations these days.