Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guest Blogger Series: Nancy Keenan “Fighting for Reproductive Rights for Every Woman”

They appeared last month in Los Angeles: billboards that read in Spanish and English “El lugar más peligroso para un Latino es el vientre de su madre/The most dangerous place for a Latino is in the womb.”

These billboards are the latest front in a cynical campaign by anti-choice activists targeting women of color. For several years, this campaign has used inflammatory rhetoric to attack African-American women’s right to make personal, private medical decisions. Now, the campaign has shifted to attacking Latinas’ rights as well.

At NARAL Pro-Choice America, we believe that no woman’s reproductive choices should be questioned or subjected to more scrutiny or control based on her racial or ethnic background. Being pro-choice means protecting women’s access to safe, legal abortion. It also means working on ways to help reduce the need for abortion, like improving access to birth control. And it also means supporting women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is the political leader of the pro-choice movement. We use the political process to elect lawmakers who share our pro-choice values and defeat candidates who don’t. We also partner with sister groups that focus on reproductive justice. Reproductive justice puts choice among broader issues important to women’s equality and human rights.

You can learn more about our work by checking out our Facebook page, reading Blog for Choice , or following us on Twitter.

As president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, I’m excited that members of our organization will start blogging at La Plaza. Latinas and Latinos are key leaders of the pro-choice community, and their leadership is central to the future of our cause.

Listening is the only way we will broaden our constituency of activists. And listening means recognizing that different communities of women understand and talk about choice in different ways.

More than two years ago, we convened a task force and developed a plan to translate a portion of our website into Spanish. After a great deal of discussion, collaboration with our partners at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and coordination with our talented and tireless translator, Ligia Rivera, we launched our first Spanish-language pages last summer.

Our team spent several months working with Ligia to produce an accurate and idiomatic translation. We’re all very proud of the way they’ve turned out, and we’ll continue to add more Spanish-language pages.

I’m looking forward to continuing a dialogue here at La Plaza. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments, either here on the comments section or at Blog for Choice, or let us know if there’s a choice-related issue you’re curious about, and we’ll get back to you.

Nancy Keenan, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America: Nancy Keenan is a nationally recognized progressive leader who brings her experience as a state legislator and statewide elected official to her role as president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Nancy marshals NARAL Pro-Choice America’s resources-the power of people, political acumen, and policy expertise-to lead the charge to protect a woman’s right to choose.

Under Keenan’s leadership, NARAL Pro-Choice America launched a research project in Arizona and New Mexico in partnership with community organizations examining Latinas’ views on reproductive rights issues. In addition, The New York Times and Newsweek have written about her organization’s ground-breaking and ongoing public-opinion research of the Millennial Generation’s views on abortion rights.