Latina Women Fight for Reproductive Justice

It’s the first Annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice! And our prompt is:

What’s your contraception story?

My family is Catholic, but I wouldn’t say that I was raised Catholic since we didn’t go to church on a regular basis. Now when I was in second grade I noticed that a lot of my friends were starting CCD classes, so I asked my parents if I could too. Well it was too late to start, so I had to wait until the next year. The priest lost his chance because the next year I was in third grade sitting in a class on Saturday mornings with second graders *rolling the eyes* and learning about Jesus.  I dropped out. I tell this story to set up the next part.

When I was about 11 or 12, I asked my mom out right, “Why don’t we go to church?” Her reply? “Because they say I can’t use these,” as she held up her birth control pills. We then had a short chat about how the Church was trying to control her and other women’s lives. How she wanted to be the one to decide when and if she would have another baby (by this time, she had been pregnant 4 times and given birth 3 times with one miscarriage). And I think she ended it by saying that all women should be making this decision, not the church.

And as they say, the rest is history.

From that moment on I was firmly a pro-choice woman-child.

My mom and I had similar talks about abortion and how she chose to have me as a partnered-yet-single-19-year-old-woman. While we didn’t agree on everything when I was growing up, I did look to her to lead the way in terms of reproductive health issues. My mom worked in labor and delivery for many years, first as an administrative assistant and then as a nurse. She saw many things, good and bad, and shared many stories with me. When she died, she was working at a county clinic because she felt that she could do the most good there, caring for women who needed health services, but couldn’t afford a private doctor. She worked with women who barely knew how their bodies worked and helped them understand the power they could have in their lives. Power that she didn’t always have, but came to realize was possible.

Thanks Mom.

But as my mom said, all women should be able to make their own decisions about when and if they become pregnant. One part of this equation is access to affordable birth control:

All women need affordable access to birth control services, supplies and visits. However, barriers to low-cost or no-cost contraception are still an unjust reality. This results in many Latinas having to struggle to afford birth control or expensive insurance copayments for birth control.

Urge your representative to ask the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support comprehensive family planning services that include contraception as a key women’s health service under the Women’s Health Amendment.

Please act today!

This post is modified from the original at Viva la Feminista

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Media Pages


ChanTlalok Rain C.

Good comments, God Bless!!

Melinda K.
Melinda K.7 years ago

Bravo, Veronica!!! For those of you reading, I was a close friend of Veronica's mom, Irene, for many years. She was a pioneer among Latina women - before it was very accepted. I was always so proud to call her my friend!

bj Jung
bj Jung7 years ago

Affordable contraceptives should be an option for all women all over the world!!!!

Vladimir G.
Vladimir Grekov7 years ago

And quhat wul ye leive to your ain mither deir,
Edward, Edward?
And quhat wul ye leive to your ain mither deir,
my deir son, now tell me, O.

The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
Mither, Mither:
The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
Sic counseils ye gave to me, O.

(Edward Ballade, old English. It means: The curse of hell I’ll leave to you, my mother, such advices you gave me.)

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog7 years ago

I do not think religion has a say in the matter of what a woman can or can't do with her body - or actually, what any person can and can't do with his/her body. I'm so glad many women are looking past their religion and doing what is right for themselves, their family, and the Earth (as contraception is very important for over-population and the drainage of resources).

April Thompson
April Thompson7 years ago

Ann J. , you are very hateful and without compassion for other women! This is what is wrong with America- so people only care about themselves; nobody gives a damn about helping others anymore!!!! Count yourself fortunate that you could afford to pay for your own birth control because other women aren't as fortunate! Get off your F**king high horse and wake the hell up! One day, you may not be able to afford to pay for your own birth control, then what the f**k would you do?!! Should women be resigned to getting pregnant just because people like you are so f**king selfish to help them with birth control? God wants us to help others in need, not be selfish a**holes and just turn away as if it isn't your problem! It is all our problem when children who aren't wanted are born into the world with nowhere to go and no one who loves them!

Leia P.
Leia P.7 years ago

go pro choice

Alicia N.
Alicia N7 years ago


Mia E.
Maria E7 years ago

I voted yes they should and how sad for us to have to vote & petition for our own human rights.
I no longer follow any doctrine or religion that oppresses human rights and reeks of hypocrisy.

I don't feel you'll get what you seek, albeit I do wish you
do. Best of luck.

@ Catrina Velez said - "Would you rather be an atheist and go around hollering anytime you passed a cross on a roadside?"

Is that what us atheist do? What of agnostics, what do we do? I think you should take your own advice.

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

Sarah B.
Sarah B.7 years ago

I think it's silly to attack Catholicism in particular about being paternalistic, as many religions have this in common. I've never understood people's fascination with this particular religion being controlling of women. And just to be clear, I'm not Catholic.

Anyway, I think educating women about reproduction and giving them access to birth control is essential. We truly need to start getting a handle on our populations globally before things get out of control and the envionment continues to be impacted negatively.