Story by Karla Lopez, Editor Photos by Christina Lares, Contributor
The recent sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his outspoken disapproval of birth control has put Kavanaugh in the center of conversation.
Kavanaugh had previously shared comments about birth control in a confirmation hearing, where he stated that “more than 95 percent of women use [birth control] in their lifetime — as an ‘abortion-inducing drug.’”
These conservative comments attacking women’s choice of birth control exasperated a focused reproductive justice group based in Downtown Los Angeles.
The California Latinas for Reproductive Justice is a community initiative that tries to combat the knowledge disparities among LA women when it comes to reproductive rights.
The mission of CLRJ is to spotlight misogynistic officials that challenge women’s right to choice in their reproductive health, such as with birth control methods.
At the start of CLRJ’s Saturday morning meeting, CLRJ member Kirsten Hernandez quoted Senator Kamala Harris, asking, “Do you know of any laws that put men’s bodies under scrutiny?”
To which Christina Lares, community engagement manager of CLRJ, added, “We need to give communities awareness of what’s going on about the [Kavanaugh] hearing.”
The focused group organizes annual fundraisers for community events they host to create a bond with neighbors in Los Angeles.
Other events, such as zine workshops, “Tardes de Cafecitos” (Coffee Afternoons), film screenings, Education Day, and “Latinx Storytelling,” all create a space for conversation.
A forgotten history that shocked the LA community was the sterilizations by Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center hospital in the ‘60s and ‘70s. These sterilizations were a statewide law, and in LA about 200 women subjected to this procedure without their acknowledgment, according to a press release by L.A. Taco.
A screening of “No Más Bebés” at a local library gave CLRJ and others a space to discuss how to target laws that try to limit the choices of women, especially women of color.
Christina and the other CLRJ chapter members hope that with the upcoming elections in November, the topic of women’s accessibility of health resources will resurface and encourage people to vote.
Until then, CLRJ are lining up events leading up to the elections.
“We [CLRJ] are going to have to respond and build a system of resources within the community,” stated Lares.