LIVINGSTON, NJ — NCJW/Essex recently hosted a special Lunch and Learn event, “Ending the Stigma of Abortion,” to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which ensures a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion.
At the event, more than 200 attendees learned how the Lady Parts Justice League, a team of comedians, writers and producers, uses humor to break down barriers in their efforts to protect reproductive rights and draw attention to the growing number of infringements on access to health care, the ways sexuality education is limited and the dangers involved in being an abortion provider. The group, founded by Lizz Winstead, co-creator and head writer of “The Daily Show,” examined the stigma attached to abortion as too often people are uncomfortable talking about the subject — even saying the word! — and the challenges of obtaining care. This reticence to speak about the topic has made it tough to expose myths, raise awareness and turn the tide on the attacks on access to care.
“We talk about abortion in silence and secrecy and we are trying to change that,” Winstead said. “Abortion is safe and necessary and we shouldn’t feel shamed by it.”
Winstead was joined for a panel discussion by Jen Moore Conrow, who serves as the director of PEACE at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she oversees the Fellowship in Family Planning and the residency education program, training the next generation of abortion providers; and Solange Azor, a New York City-based comedian, writer and activist for reproductive justice.
To further the work of the Roe v. Wade decision, attendees participated in a “call to action,” sending letters to New Jersey legislators in support of Bill A1861: “Address Confidentiality Program for Reproductive Health Services Employees and Clients.” This legislation would offer both staff and patients the option of confidentiality of their address, thus granting them safety and security for themselves and their families.
Photos Courtesy of NCJW/Essex