To see them: Reproductive Justice Banners
For the first time in San Francisco’s history, banners advocating reproductive rights and justice began flying today on Market Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares. The display was organized by the Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women, a coalition of 42 national and local organizations that aims to build the momentum and solidarity of the pro-choice majority. During 2011, Congress and state legislatures proposed or enacted an unprecedented number of attacks on women’s reproductive health care services, including birth control as well as abortion, while slashing basic health services.
The banners kick off a national virtual online march in collaboration with MoveOn later in January.
“When the House of Representatives votes that it is okay for doctors to allow pregnant women to die in the emergency room rather than perform an abortion, it’s time for women to wake up and fight back,” said Sophia Yen, M.D., a co-founder of the Silver Ribbon Campaign. “As a mother and a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent medicine, I want to insure that my patients and my own daughters continue to enjoy the right to plan their families and pursue their career goals. For women, that means protecting and expanding reproductive rights.”
Ellen R. Shaffer, Ph.D., co-director of the Silver Ribbon Campaign said, “Many women are angry that our health is being used as a political football, in attempts to divert attention away from the troubled economy as we enter an election year. We need the government to fix the economy and to fund vital basic health services, that are especially critical for low-income women, and to quit interfering with our private decisions about our reproductive health.”
The Silver Ribbon banner slogans are:
Her Decision, Her Health
U.S. Out of My Uterus
Fix the Economy, Support My Autonomy
Reproductive Rights are Human Rights
San Francisco is Pro-Choice
We Trust Black Women, Do You? – Sistersong
Catholics for Choice
Legal Abortion is a Human Right: United Nations – BACORR
Freedom, Privacy, Choice – NARAL California
San Francisco Supports Planned Parenthood Shasta/Pacific
Other organizations that contributed a banner to the display commented: “Women of color are more likely to be adversely affected by policy and budget cuts to family planning,” said Loretta Ross, National Coordinator of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. “It is important for women of color to be trusted to make these private personal decisions for ourselves and our families. It is our human right to do so and we will not be shamed or silenced.”
“We are delighted to join this initiative, raising awareness about continued threats to women’s reproductive rights. While Catholics have long rejected the bishops’ diktats when it comes to family planning, the bishops just don’t give up. The vast majority of sexually active Catholic women, 98 percent, use a method of family planning banned by the bishops. Now the bishops are trying to use Congress to force their will on all Americans. This is intolerable and we expect the Obama administration to reject the bishops’ demands,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice.
“BACORR is proud to partner with Trust Women and to bring strong grassroots support to this campaign,” Somer Loen from BACORR said. “Too many of the people who pass restrictive laws and service cuts aren’t affected by them. We hope the banners will help empower everyone to stand up publicly for their rights.”
The 70 banners will fly for several weeks through January, 2012. Local and national events are planned throughout the U.S. around the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, celebrating Trust Women Week.
See photos of 8 of the banners here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117112844015109646967/ReproductiveJusticeBannersInSanFrancisco#
pdf of full set: