BLOG: TCP President’s Personal Reflection on the Women’s Health Protection Act
On Monday of this week, I took my first work trip since the start of the pandemic and since becoming a mom. It was fitting that it was for a meeting of the First 5 California Commission. I was anxious – for many reasons – and I was overwhelmed with emotions. So much so that when I made my first comment at the meeting, I teared up.
I teared up because I wanted to be home with my 10-month old daughter, a privileged reality that is afforded to me because I have grown accustomed to working from home these past 24 months.
I teared up because as our nation continues to grapple with last week’s leaked SCOTUS opinion, there are states moving forward with proposals to criminalize reproductive health care – from abortion to in vitro fertilization (the very method that enabled us to have our baby).
I teared up because in a country with alarming maternal and infant mortality rates, especially for Black women, we prioritize controlling women’s bodies instead of supporting them.
I teared up because I am so grateful my mom was home with my baby when I know so many have inequitable access to child care and parental leave.
I teared up because as we face an escalating child and youth mental health crisis, we are still not making the connection between stress and mental health for all of us.
At The Children’s Partnership (TCP), we envision a California where all children—regardless of their race, ethnicity or place of birth—have the resources and opportunities they need to grow up healthy and thrive. We recognize that the success of children is dependent on the well-being of their families and communities. Our beliefs are undergirded by the core of Reproductive Justice, as first defined by Black women in 1994: the belief that all people have the right to have children; the right to not have children; and the right to nurture the children we have in a safe and healthy environment.
Today, the Senate is expected to vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act. As our shared work to advance child health equity continues, the time is now to call on our elected officials to fight for a future where all of us are free to make the personal decisions that shape our lives, our futures and our families.