Author Archive

#whatitreallytakes: Reproductive Justice In Action

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Yesterday we asked the Third Wave community: tell us #whatitreallytakes to get an abortion. Your responses are inspiring, overwhelming and powerful.

  • We hope you’ll read, share, and add your own story, using the hashtag #whatitreallytakes.
  • You can also post our report and infographic on abortion access to your blog, or Facebook Wall, or send it to someone who needs it.
  • You can support a network of young feminist activists who are working across the United States to remove these barriers to access and ensure our reproductive freedom for generations to come by making a gift to Third Wave.

What It Really Takes: Your Stories of Abortion Access

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

I had to think about ALL of these things on the list. I rode a bus, didn’t have insurance or that much cash, didn’t want my up right right wing roommate to find out, didn’t have a cell phone that worked outside of it being plugged in the wall. If I would have had to go my ex couldn’t really go with me as he worked and I barely started at the job I had. I had to look up that information on someone else’s computer being careful to delete the cookies…it was just easier that way and on top of that I was a rape victim like 5 months before all of that. My period was late 2 months…it was the stress of moving and knowing I was in a situation I regretted and having to stay in it.

We’re heartened and inspired by the way our infographic, “What It Really Takes To Get An Abortion,” has led to so many of you sharing your own perspectives on abortion access on your blogs, on Twitter, and Facebook. Your stories make it easy to see how we all have a stake in reproductive justice. Here’s just a few:


GOP, doesn’t it say something that no matter how difficult and expensive you make it, people are still getting abortions?


anti-choice lines up the hoops for you to jump through in the hopes that the clock will run out and you will become unable to have an abortion. Any one of these things could be considered reasonable by themselves, but all of them together will be difficult for many people. On top of this add the mandatory waiting periods, the enforced visit to a Crisis Pregnancy Center to be preached at, and whatever else they come up with next. It’s basically harassment, every bit as much as the protesters lined up outside every clinic.


This is abhorrent and ridiculous. When every single person is truly the owner of his/her/their own body, America, you give me a call.

Some folks also added more information worth sharing widely:


add to this:

  • Counseling and/or receiving state mandated information (varies from state-to-state).
  • Somebody to take care of children (if the patient has them) because they are not allowed in many clinics.
  • A driver to take the patient home after any procedure with sedation and/or narcotics


For reference, an ultrasound at 19 weeks was $900+ for me. It was for a wanted pregnancy, and it was done in a hospital, but even simple medical procedures are expensive. So yeah, a sonogram can be a huge barrier if it’s state-required— those few hundred dollars can double (or more) the cost of an abortion.

Do you have a story about abortion access in your own life? We’d love to share it here.

  • On Twitter and Tumblr, you can tag it #whatitreallytakes.
  • Or, tag Third Wave Foundation in your post on Facebook.

Some more great coverage you can share:

Want to ensure abortion access for all?

Make a gift to Third Wave so we can best support activists who are working for reproductive health & justice.

The New Jim Crow: Michelle Alexander on the Criminalization of Race in America

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Earlier this May in New York, activists working to end mass incarceration in the United States organized “The New Jim Crow,” a conference inspired by the work of legal scholar Michelle Alexander.

In this clip from the conference, Alexander argues that racism has been given cover to operate within the supposedly colorblind criminal legal system. Through the disproportionate enforcement of loitering and drug laws in communities of color, the prison population has exploded. As a result, mass incarceration has systematically established a disenfranchised caste of young and low-income people of color, dividing families, entrenching stigma against formerly incarcerated people, and moving resources to the prison system and out of communities already experiencing profound divestment.

Double Standards: Congress Attacks Abortion and Families

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

In this segment from GRITtv, Paris Hatcher, Executive Director of SPARK Reproductive Justice Now, exposes the double standards at the heart of recent Congressional attacks on abortion and the rights of young people to parent:

“We’re supposed to love life, right? And protect mothers and ban abortion because abortion is about ending babies lives, right? But then we see cuts to WIC, [Women, Infants & Children benefits], we know women are being chained to beds to give birth.”

On Mama’s Day, Recognizing Young Mothers & Strong Families

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

(Video by Strong Families, a project of Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice and in collaboration with reproductive justice organizations around the US)

Today at The Frisky, Adriann Barboa (director of Young Women United) offers a smart take on how we can support young parents in our communities:

When I see the dismal statistics and negative images our communities are bombarded with, I wonder how many of the negative outcomes are caused not by the age of the parents, but by the stigma heaped on them and the isolation that results? We all know there is nothing inherently wrong with giving birth at 18. Humans have been doing it throughout time; President Barack Obama’s mom did it, every 30-year-old I know has a mother who was “young” by today’s standards.

In a generation, the “proper” age to become a parent has changed. Economic security sure helps in raising kids. Having a partner does too. But 40 percent of babies in the US are born to mothers who are not married, and their ages range across the board. The Great Recession has taught us many things, including that we can’t count on financial security at any age.

Maybe instead of a National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, with statistics and images that demonize young parents, we could have a National Day to Support Young Parents? We could have a day when service providers, teachers, ministers, and the media celebrate all of the great achievements by young parents and their kids. We could enjoy a day when we are honored for all we have taken on, and all that we have succeeded in doing, when the folks around us ask us how they can best support us, instead of telling us what we should have done differently.

Supporting young people’s decisions to parent is a critical piece of ensuring reproductive freedom. In recognition and in celebration of Mother’s Day, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) launched their campaign What’s the Real Problem?. “We’ve been challenging the stigmatizing narratives that paint young mothers as irresponsible, hopeless, and drains on the state,” writes Verónica Bayetti Flores, senior policy analyst at NLIRH. “Young women who choose to become mothers continue to be human, and deserve as much opportunity to lead fulfilling lives as women who delay their pregnancies or choose not to parent at all.

Nominations Open! 2011 Mario Savio Young Activist Award

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

The Mario Savio Young Activist Award is presented each year to a young person (or persons) with a deep commitment to human rights and social justice and a proven ability to transform this commitment into effective action. The recipient/s will receive a $6000 award in recognition of their work. The deadline to submit a nomination is June 30th.

Thanks to Dom Brassey at Tides (who is also a proud Third Wave Board member) for her inspiring announcement, complete with videos featuring some powerhouse poets and activists, like this one:

If you’d like to nominate a young activist who inspires you, check out the full details (and videos of free speech activist Mario Savio, for which this award is named) over here.

“No Simple Solutions”: Social Justice and the Sex Trade

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

We know that each of our experiences of the sex trades are unique, and there are no one-size fits all solutions. We are members of families and communities struggling to survive and make the best possible choices given the options available to us. For many of us, the truth about the sex trade is somewhere between a completely empowered experience of the sex trade, which requires only decriminalization to eliminate harms, and a completely harmful experience of the sex trade which negatively presumes all of us to be victims in need of “rescue.”

In response to increased media and philanthropic attention on young people in the sex trade, a collective of radical women of color, queer people of color, and Indigenous people who identify as people in the sex trades, affiliated with INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, are working to center the voices of young people in the sex trades in conversations about policy reform that directly impacts their lives. You can read their statement (excerpted above) in full on the INCITE! blog.

Over at Feministing, Jos Truit has a powerful post giving some context and background to how social justice movements can meaningfully include young people in the sex trade.

Third Wave has also released a statement (in September 2010) on why we prioritize the expertise of young people in the sex trade.

How Anti-Choice Billboards & Crisis Pregnancy Centers Target Women of Color

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Writing at, Chicago Abortion Fund’s executive director Gaylon Alcaraz describes the scene at a protest against the new anti-abortion billboards in Chicago:

As black women gathered to protest and demand the removal of those signs, which were posted up in the darkness from the night before, black preachers and other Life Always representatives stood at the microphone explaining why they chose this neighborhood and the president’s image for their tag line: “Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is aborted.”  These three identical billboards placed side by side on a building that face evidence of poverty, neglect and despair is ironic.  The lot in which the press conference was held is littered with broken glass and garbage, with grass nowhere to be found.  It is this scene that provided the backdrop for this Houston-based group to advocate for “Life Always.”  Yet, these outsiders fail to see the irony in telling black women in this depressed neighborhood not to abort their ‘babies.’

By coming into poor communities of color in an effort to regulate and attempt to control women’s decisions about reproduction and reproductive health, the group is spreading fear, myths and falsehoods not only about abortion (one lonely woman of color stood on stage and talked about breast cancer and abortion) but also about what these anti-choice organizations actually do.  For example, one preacher yelled from the podium that they advocate for more crisis pregnancy centers that would help women.  Yet, we all know that these centers do not help women but attempt to shame through various tactics, such as propaganda films and shoving mutilated dolls in front of women.

One of the women that sought funding from the Chicago Abortion Fund, Nicole Goss, found a crisis pregnancy center before she found our information.  She had this type of experience.  In fact, she stated that the center she found herself in attempted to do everything to force her not to have an abortion, even telling her she was too far along to have a procedure – which was not true!  These centers are deceitful but very dangerous as well.  Nicole had a second- trimester procedure which proved to be not only more risky but drastically more expensive  than if she had access to an earlier first-trimester abortion.  This is a clear example of the deceptive work of these centers for which the preachers are advocating.

Over on Chicago Abortion Fund’s blog, their members shared their reactions to the billboards:

What Life Always should have done was invested the time, energy and funds they used to put up those billboards into these neighborhoods and their schools. Fund and advocate for comprehensive sex education in the schools. Provide us with employment resources. - Brittany

Abortion is a choice and i know everyone is entitled to the own opinion however i still being this billboard should be removed. growing up in this community many would be surprise to know what goes on and what woman have to endure so i feel that attempting to alter someone minds and choice is wrong. Allow these woman to make there own choices who knows a few years down the road they too could be the next possible leader….Dominique Perry

You can keep connected with Chicago Abortion Fund’s work in support of reproductive justice on their blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Khmer Girls in Action Listening Campaign Launches in Long Beach

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Khmer Girls in Action (KGA) empowers young women of Cambodian and Southeast Asian descent in Long Beach, California to be leaders within the reproductive justice movement. KGA’s members learn the necessary educational tools and organizing skills to create positive change in their communities, including participatory research as a tool for organizing and action.

This Spring, KGA is kicking off a listening campaign to share the results of their first Participatory Action Research project on immigrant and refugee rights, reproductive justice, health, and safety. The youth members of KGA designed the study and carried out the research, collecting findings related to how young people in the Khmer community in Long Beach face harassment and discrimination, and how they are taking leadership to change it.

Check out their survey and share their video PSA.

Funders Network on Transforming the Global Economy seeks Communications Manager

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Funders Network on Transforming the Global Economy (FNTG) seeks Communications Manager

Part-Time Telecommuting Position: 20+ hours per week
Location is flexible, although East Coast is preferred.

Job Description
The Communications Manager will be an employee of Community Partners, FNTG’s fiscal sponsor, while reporting to FNTG’s Coordinator and working closely with Steering Committee members, other funders and with NGO and social movement allies. In collaboration with the Coordinator, the Communications Manager will ensure that FNTG initiatives, in particular activities related to communications, are carried out as planned and that agreed upon tasks and initiatives move forward in ways that achieve overall program goals.

The Communications Manager oversees all organizational publications, including white papers, briefing books, and reports. The Communications Manager also has responsibility for managing online publications, website maintenance, social networking, and new communications initiatives.

Responsibilities include:

Managing membership program and internal communications of the network:

* Develop and implement a communications plan that includes strategies and benchmarks;
* Coordinate membership development strategies;
* Develop and manage FNTG membership database;
* Facilitate working group communications through conference calls, listservs and meetings, producing minutes and reports;
* Maintain online calendars of upcoming meetings and program events;
* Assist in production of Steering Committee, working group and activities reports;
* Develop and ensure distribution of online newsletter; and
* Determine communications priorities and forecast resource needs.

Managing external communications of the network:

* Design and maintain website and explore other online communications strategies;
* Implement outreach and promotional campaigns and strategies;
* Produce online and print publications and other outreach & informational materials; and
* Develop annual and long-range communications strategies.

Providing general administrative and organizing support:

* Manage FNTG grants tracking and financial reporting deadlines, and assist in the development and submission of grant and financial reports;
* Coordinate between consultants and vendors and Community Partners to ensure that contracts and payments are executed promptly and appropriately; and
* Share general administrative and organizing responsibilities as needed and determined with FNTG Coordinator.

Needed Skills and Experience:

* Communications and social networking expertise;
* Demonstrated ability to think strategically about communication and outreach strategies;
* Knowledge of communications and database management software, web development/design/maintenance, common computer programs and online web tools;
* Ability to establish priorities, maintain a variety of projects and activities simultaneously, and complete work in a through, accurate and timely manner.
* Self-motivated and able to work independently from home, both collaboratively and independently with minimal supervision;
* Good facilitation, writing and oral communication skills;
* Willingness to travel on occasion; and
* Experience in philanthropy and in multi-racial, multi-cultural settings and with social movements a plus.

Salary range: $22,500 – $32,500 ($45,000 – 55,000 FTE). Salary based on qualifications and experience, with benefits. The Communications Manager position is currently a part-time, 20 hours per week, position. However, there may be occasional times when we may need additional hours (i.e. delegations, events, etc). We are looking for someone who can be flexible.

Application Process
Please send brief cover letter, resumé and the names and contacts for three references to Melissa Cariño at by April 15, 2011