Interview with NARAL Pro-Choice New York

The mission of NARAL Pro-Choice New York is to protect safe, legal abortion and expand the full range of reproductive rights for women regardless of age, race or income. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.prochoiceny.org.

Our editors conducted the following interview with David Benzaquen who is the Political & Legislative Action Coordinator for NARAL Pro-Choice New York.

RE/VISIONIST: What is your relationship with New York’s state legislature?  Do you have many strong allies in Albany?

David Benzaquen: NARAL Pro-Choice New York works to support the election of pro-choice candidates and this helps us build and maintain strong relationships with pro-choice officials. Every year during election season, NARAL Pro-Choice New York endorses a slate of candidates who show their unwavering commitment to reproductive rights issues. We are non-partisan and only endorse candidates who are 100% pro-choice, so we are proud to encourage all of our members to support these candidates and their campaigns in any way they can.

R/V: At the federal level, how would you rate the performance of US Senators and Representatives from New York in terms of their level of pro-choice or anti-choice support?

DB: Senators Gillibrand and Schumer are strong pro-choice allies. We thank Senator Gillibrand, in particular, for her recent strong opposition to anti-choice legislation being advanced by Speaker of the House John Boehner. The Congressional delegation from New York is largely pro-choice and includes some tremendous heroes of women’s rights like Representative Jerrold Nadler. Unfortunately there are also several anti-choice members who are even now trying to defund Planned Parenthood and would allow emergency rooms to deny a woman an abortion even if her life was in imminent danger. Continue reading

Interview with National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH)

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) is an organization that focuses on abortion access, reproductive health disparities and immigration reform. You can find out more by visiting their website.

Our editors conducted the following interview with Maria Elena Perez, Director of Community Mobilization.


RE/VISIONIST: In what ways does NLIRH specifically address the Latina community?

Maria Elena Perez: The mission of NLIRH is to ensure the fundamental human right to reproductive health and justice for Latinas, their families and their communities through community mobilization, policy advocacy and research. Our priority areas are abortion access, immigration reform, and reproductive health disparities. Within community mobilization, which is the area I oversee, we cultivate the leadership of a diverse group of Latinas across the country through our Latinas Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy (LOLA) Trainings, which give birth to our Latina Advocacy Networks (LANs). The LANs organize and engage in grassroots advocacy efforts on both local/state based and national issues that directly impact their communities. And when I say diverse, our base is truly reflective of the diversity within our community with respect to country of origin, language, urban vs. rural communities, class, education, etc.

R/V: Do you strive to build coalitions with other groups that are also organizing for reproductive justice?

MEP: The reproductive justice framework holds as a core tenet the concept of intersectionality, which maintains that reproductive oppression is a result of multiple, intersecting oppressions like racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, etc. To achieve reproductive justice we must therefore, take into account the intersecting social justice issues. So, while we at NLIRH strive to build coalitions with other reproductive health, rights and justice groups, we also prioritize building alliances with Latino/immigrant civil rights groups and other social justice groups to integrate a reproductive justice analysis and agenda into their work. Continue reading

Rep. Gwen Moore & Rep. Jackie Speier: Amazing Speeches on the House Floor

As House Republicans argued for extremist measures to cut assistance to women, children, and men who use Planned Parenthood’s services, Gwen Moore and Jackie Speier bravely shared their own personal experiences on the House floor.  Their words are a reminder of the dire necessity to have more women and people of color serving in legislative positions.