CommunityNews

‘Trivialized and Demonized,’ Women’s Resource Center Staffers on the State of Reproductive Rights

A uterus, constricted by shackles, symbolizing the discerned consequences of the Roe versus Wade case outcome. Illustration by Jess Oledan.

By Gabrielle Chagniot
Interviews by Jess Oledan

Members of the Women’s Resource Center were angered by the recent Supreme Court decision to overthrow Roe v Wade that guaranteed women the right to an abortion.

The initial case Roe v Wade was approved 51 years ago on January 22, 1973, but overturned in June of 2022 by a 5-4 vote.

Jo Call and Azzedine Taka of the Women’s Resource Center were not surprised by the decision.

“I was worried about my community, but I knew that my fellow women could come together as the community is so strong,” Call said.

Call said she educated herself by seeing what she could do and in what ways she could help.

“(I) tried to work on continuing to provide necessary health care despite what happened,” Call said. “I educated myself on the complexities of the case and what exactly it meant for my community. I learned about how people could die from a decision like this and worked on ways to provide
miscarriage support. I also gathered resources and tried to spread awareness.”

Call praised the response of women who came together to resist the Supreme Court decision. “…it showed the resilience of women, and how we will always find a way to support ourselves no matter the obstacles.”

For Taka, “the outcome made me confused. The United States claims to be a country that stands for freedom for all. But this was just bullshit. We took 10 steps backwards with the outcome of this case, (actually) more than 10 steps backwards. Enforcing control on the reproductive system is extremely
oppressive.”

“Women are constantly trivialized, with both emotional and physical pain, like how we’re told that the physical symptoms of having your period is not a valid reason to be excused from anything. Silence and ignorance kills…This outcome was terrifying.”

The challenge to a woman’s health rights, according to Call, begins with the lack of sex education in schools and the lack of funding for quality healthcare for women.

“People are not educated about their own bodies,” Call said. “It is a root issue that expands further than abortions. We need to work on (the) education on women’s health. This is an uneducated country with history rooted in sexism.”

“Women’s issues have always been overlooked, scapegoated, and deflected upon,” Call said. “Our experience is trivialized and demonized. Historically, women’s healthcare has been underfunded. We are provided with less pain medication and support, even during intense medical procedures, while men
are pampered…”

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