Centering the Reproductive Health of Black Women

This week, we are straddling Black History Month and Women’s History Month–and of course, some people are both Black and female, as SNL recently jested.

As we celebrate this beautiful intersection, we are following the #WomanCentered blog series by Natasha Marin. In this series, Natasha is asking women to share stories about their identity and their reproductive health decisions. In the process, she’s hacking away at some of the stigma and shame that typically embodies these conversations. As women, we’re taught to talk about reproductive health in hushed tones, and there are myriad negative consequences of all this whispering–as the popular hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion so perfectly illustrates.

In honor of Black History Month and Women’s History Month (and Mar. 8, which is International Women’s Day), here are some highlights from Black women who have participated in #WomanCentered so far:

  • After an awkward experience accessing Plan B at the local drugstore, Raya Leary got an IUD installed for free at Planned Parenthood. Count her among the legions of women who swear by their IUDs.
  • Rokea Jones is glad she waited to have kids, and now feels informed about Black motherhood–and ready.
  • For Reagan Jackson, not having children has meant more travel and greater financial flexibility. She experimented until she found the birth control option that was right for her.
  • Selena Whitaker-Paquiet describes how she made the reproductive choice that was right for her by trusting her gut.
  • Nicole Peoples talks about how The Pill works with her body chemistry–and how dating women is also effective contraception.

Follow along at #WomanCentered or read other #WomanCentered stories on Medium.