Tuesday night, I had the chance to spend a couple of hours in the presence of SisterSong’s execute director, Monica Simpson. The SisterSong collective, one of the first reproductive justice organizations, was formed in 1997 to address the reproductive and sexual health and rights for women of color. You can read more about Monica Simpson here

One of our Choice Coalition partners, Maine Family Planning, invited Simpson to speak at their Fall Appreciation Dinner. The event was held at Frontier Café in Brunswick. The room was packed full of reproductive rights advocates and allies, all eager to hear about the work that Simpson and SisterSong have been doing in Atlanta (their home base) and across the country.

Monica SimpsonSimpson inspired us all with her talk of collaborative reproductive justice work and the need to understand women’s health as a component of human rights. She urged us to view reproductive rights work through an intersectional lens because “We don’t live single issue lives.” Viewing reproductive rights work through an intersectional lens means recognizing that reproductive freedom and reproductive health care access may look different for different groups of people. The right to reproductive autonomy can be compromised based on a person’s race, class, sexual orientation or gender identity. For some communities, reproductive freedom isn’t only the freedom to have a legal abortion – sometimes it’s the freedom to parent children in safe and healthy environments. 

photo: Maine Family Planning Association