Anthropologist, feminist and comedian Natalia Reagan worked with The Woman Project last May as our key note speaker at our “Art-In” Event.
Today, we highlight her for her environmental activism.. she is the taking over ‘Star Talk Radio’s’ twitter account at @StarTalkRadio.
Here she is:
Here is Natalia’s Speech when she spoke for TWP’s event last Spring:
Happy Mother’s day!
I’m happy to be in this Blue state talking about something that is of vital importance to women- the right to choice.
HB 5343: Rhode Island House Bill
AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE ACT
(Prohibits the state from interfering with a woman’s decision to prevent, commence, continue, or terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability.)
Nicholas A. Mattiello.
The Whole Woman’s Health case is especially relevant in Rhode Island, a state that does not in its own right guarantee women access to abortion. In fact, the state explicitly denies the right to abortion in its constitution, which was amended in 1986 to include the assertion that “nothing in this section (Article I Section II) shall be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof.”
That insert means that if Roe v. Wade is overturned in the future — as it could be in the Whole Woman’s Health case — there will not be a guaranteed right to abortion in the state of Rhode Island.
Roughly 51% of the population is female. Yet we are responsible for bringing 100% of the population into the world.
Did you know human women have concealed ovulation? Our closest genetic relatives, chimps and bonobos, send signals via HUGE sexual swellings to let males know they’re hankering for some nookie while we keep it on the DL. Anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy’s theory for this phenomenon is that because males don’t know WHO their kids are they are apt to take care of a woman and all her kids since some could be his own. Talk about power!
As mothers we make decisions about our families, homes, children, and future. Women are often the glue that hold together a family.
Then why are we given the short end of the stick?
So why are we not trusted to make decisions about our own bodies?
We aren’t trusted to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
And even when we DO choose to carry out the pregnancy, women are not trusted to gage their own pain and health.
Yesterday NPR reported about a woman who died roughly 24 hours after giving birth.
Yet every year in the U.S., 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and the CDC have determined 60 percent of these deaths are prevented. Perhaps if women were heard. Perhaps if we were trusted.
American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period (defined by the Centers for Disease Control as the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination), six times as likely to die as Scandinavians.
It’s all about Control.
By controlling her ability to choose, legislators are also controlling her access to education, career, travel, exploration, the life she dreamed of having. Not that one cannot do that with children, but as many mothers know, it’s not easy once who have little ones to care for.
If you can hear or see me, you are one degree of separation from an unapologetic abortion.
That’s not to say I took the decision lightly in the least. But, it was the easiest hard decision of my life.
I had always been “I’m pro-choice” for others, but I could never have an abortion”. But then in June 2001 my boyfriend noticed I was not acting ‘normal’ or in my case ‘really weird’ and he insisted I was pregnant. I laughed at the idea because I was on the pill. I had missed a day and followed their double-up method so I was SURE I was in the clear. My dude persisted. He bought a pregnancy test and I remember peeing with the door open so I could continue explaining to him that he was nuts. The movies always show the jaw clenching 2-minute wait time to see the results, but the second my pee hit that stick it lit up like a Christmas tree. I took one look and threw it across the bathroom.
Well, let me just tell you I have never been so sure about anything in my life. I was not ready to be a mom. I was going to have an abortion.
My story is common. Because I lived in California I had incredible access to clinics.
And because of Obama’s ACA we have seen a substantial drop in abortion rates across the U.S.
Under ACA abortion rates dropped to an all-time low-14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That’s the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973.
Why was this? Access to education, contraceptives. Prevention is key!
However, the house of reps vote to repeal ACA which may result in 24 million uninsured Americans. And let’s not forget erectile dysfunction is not a preexisting condition yet the condition a fixed phallus causes, pregnancy, is a pre-existing condition. Hmm…I wonder who were the primary authors of this bill.
Rhode island is as Blue as they come but there is no bill on the books making abortion
Control is about gaining power. And who should have power of our bodies? Us.
Who here has seen the classic Henson film Labyrinth featuring David Bowie’s one spherical (cover your ears kids) testicle in gray spandex slacks?
I saw the movie in the theater at 7 and was not only smitten by Bowie’s deliciously deviant Jareth, I was also moved by Sarah’s quest for self realization and her little brother Toby who had been stolen away by Jareth the Goblin King. The film follows the play she had read and she kept forgetting the pivotal line. At the end of the film, Sarah finally reaches the end of the Labyrinth and confronts Jareth who is still holding her baby brother hostage until she says the words that will release him. Then she remembers.
You have no power over me.
Such a simple but powerful phrase.
Let’s all try it for a moment. Repeat after me:
YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME
After my abortion I lived my heart out. I was an acted in several projects (with our very own Kari Kurto), traveled to Europe, studied monkeys in Central America, I got hit by a truck, I went back to school for anthropology, I got my BA, went to primate field school, grad school, was on the Today Show, made videos about boobs, butts, ball, bigfoot, I was a rabbit mom (sidenote- Joe bought me a rabbit), I fell in loves a few times had my heart broken. All worth it.
And now I’m a science communicator that is working to increase science literacy and hopefully inspire young women (men too) to join STEM fields.
And you know what? I want to have children. I do want to be a mom. And I want my daughter’s to have the right to choose But on my terms. I’m driving this damn boat.
I have lived so many lifetimes the past 15 years. And so many of my friends and relatives have also had full and beautiful lives since choosing to end pregnancies. Many of them have gone on to have beautiful families. On their terms.
In our cases and the cases of thousands of women with a myriad of stories, Prochoice IS Prolife.