FEMINIST FRIDAY: Podcasts About Reproductive Justice, Abortion Access & The History Of The Repro Rights Fight

Original NATAL illustration by Brittany Harris (@gobeeharris) | Image via www.natalstories.com

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday – the column where we take a break from our regular content schedule and take a look at 3 videos/trailers/films/book/songs and more that are centered around an intersectional feminist theme. This week we’re looking at 3 podcasts that are all about the reproductive justice, rights and healthcare battle that has become arguably one of the most divisive landscapes in American culture (sadly).

And while it may be a heated landscape when it comes to politics where only a few in power get to dictate policies and funding, we are seeing an explosion of organizations, individuals and movements that are seeking justice and equality in progressive ways, one of those being sharing information to the masses. Podcasts have become a great medium to disseminate crucial information about reproductive health, and we have put together 3 of the newest series about this topic that we highly recommend you listening and subscribing to.

The first is Natal – a podcast series about having a baby while Black in the United States. Hosted by a powerhouse team of black women – executive producers Gabrielle Horton and Martina Abrahams Ilunga, editor Tiara Darnell, producers Jhodie-Ann Williams and Taylor Hosking, and Sound designer/engineer Jess Jupiter – Natal passes the mic to Black parents to tell their stories about pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum care, in their own words. The docuseries also highlights the birthworkers, medical professionals, researchers, and advocates fighting daily for better care for Black birthing parents.

Supported by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, USC Annenberg’s Center For Health Journalism and The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, through first person testimonials, NATAL aims to empower Black pregnant and birthing parents with information and resources to navigate their parenthood journeys; hold medical systems accountable for the well-being of Black pregnant and birthing parents; create space for Black parents to share the lessons learned within a supportive community; and provide audiences with tools and language to amplify the national conversation about the current state — and future, of Black perinatal care.

Take a listen to episode one below, and be sure to subscribe to hear more powerful stories:

The second podcast we’re highlighting this week is ACCESS: A podcast about abortion, which aims to answer all your questions about abortion in the U.S., including some you never knew you had. Hosted, reported and produced by Garnet Henderson, ACCESS gives you the context you need to understand the headlines, featuring first person stories from the people who know: people who’ve had abortions, abortion providers, abortion funders, researchers, and more. Each episode breaks down a different topic in an accessible and human way.

“On ACCESS, we’re talking about abortion,” says the website description.

“Abortion is common. In the United States, one in four women will have an abortion during her lifetime. Many trans men and non-binary people have abortions, too. That means that you almost certainly know someone — and probably more than one person — who’s had an abortion. That is, if you haven’t had one yourself. But abortion is something that many of us just don’t talk about. At least, not outside the context of political debates,” it continues.

In episode Garnet starts with the basics, and interviews Dr. Meera Shah, family medicine physician, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, and author of You’re the Only One I’ve Told: The Stories Behind Abortion. Dr. Shah explains what actually happens during an abortion, the difference between a medical and surgical abortion, and dispels some common myths that have been touted by right wing organizations, pundits, politicians and media. Listen to the episode below, and subscribe to get the latest episodes as they are released:

The final podcast this week is a limited 6-part series called ‘The Lie That Binds’, which was made as an accompaniment to NARAL president Ilyse Hogue’s new book of the same name, written with NARAL Research Director Ellie Langford.

Hosted by Jess McIntosh, the podcast unpacks the terrifying rise of the anti-choice movement from its surprising roots in school segregation to the election of President Donald Trump. This critical series is for anyone wondering how abortion rights seem to be dwindling despite public opinion swaying strongly in favor of reproductive freedom.

We HIGHLY recommend listening to all 6 episodes before the November election, and you can start by checking out episode 1 below, titled ‘The Trojan Horse’: