Well friends it’s the end of Hispanic Heritage Month and you’d be forgiven for pondering “Um, what? It’s the middle of the month.” Yes correct, Hispanic Heritage Month is TWO HALVES OF A MONTH! It starts on September 15 and ends October 15th. I would snark on this more but the reasoning is… not terrible. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all celebrate their independence on that day and Mexico and Chile have independence days shortly after. I mean… we still could just gotten all of September or something… but … whatever.
I say “we” because your dear writer is Latina and… I guess Hispanic too. OK so that’s another thing. Hispanic means either that you speak Spanish or are descended from a Spanish-speaking country. Kinda feels like it should be “Latino Heritage Month.” Like most things it is FRAUGHT, guys. A FRAUGHT MONTH. Because IDENTITY is fraught!!!
But all this gripping aside, it’s still important to me and to AAFront that we celebrate it! Because while it might not have gotten the attention it deserved in YOUR high school or middle school and it’s always a good time to recognize the importance of overlooked people who contribute to making the world a better place.
So today we’re celebrating some incredible reproductive rights warriors!
First we want to shout out an amazing comedian who comes on the road with us! She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty and they have shown time and again that reproductive rights are worth fighting for. And she has a new special on Netflix now!
Jessica Gonzalez Rojas, National Latina Institute For Reproductive Health
Gonzalez Rojas has been a leader in progressive movements for 15 years! In addition to her work at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health shee is also an adjunct professor of Latino and Latin American Studies. She frequently writes articles calling out hypocrisies in the treatment of latina women and pregnant people at the border. In her recent article “There’s Nothing ‘Pro-Life’ About Denying Migrants Rights and Dignity” she write:
If the anti-choice movement genuinely cared about the “sanctity of life,” its advocates would show it through actions, not words. They would support efforts to decrease maternal mortality. They would provide our underserved communities with facilities that offer compassionate, fact-based, comprehensive reproductive health care, rather than divert precious resources to fake health centers that deceive people into continuing an unplanned pregnancy. They would know that a few diaper donations are not enough to address the real needs of a person who simply cannot afford or endure an unexpected pregnancy.
She just announced the she’s leaving the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. We can’t wait to see where she goes next!
If you want to understand Alejandra Pablos you have to read her stunning Elle piece “Letter from an ‘Imperfect Immigrant.’” Even as she faces her own deportation battle she uses the moment to shine a light on the stories of other immigrants and their struggles, the movement as a whole, and somehow makes you more optimistic AND spurred with fury. She works with Mijente, an activist group that organizes intersectional campaigns and actions!
This summer one of our writers, Sarah Hartshorne, traveled to the Texas border with a group of comedians. The whole trip was organized by Ana Breton, a busy producer and director who works days at Full Frontal With Samantha Bee and STILL found time to organize this amazing tour. The group worked with Angry Tias y Abuelas, a group of women who aid asylum seekers at the border. Find out more about them here!
Thank God For Abortion and thank god for totally fearless Viva Ruiz who you’ll see at every march and protest, proudly declaring that you can be religious AND pro-abortion!
Cara was one of our Abortion Summer Camp: Garbage Fyre Festival queens and she puts in the WORK in Tennessee!
Kimberly Inez McGuire
Kimberly began her career as an INTERN at URGE (Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equality) and now she’s executive director there! Work!
Jimenez has worked in reproductive justice for over two decades! She is now Executive Director at California Latinas for Reproductive Justice where she works to cultivate Latinx leadership through advocacy!
Paula Avila Guillen
Avila Guillen is a powerhouse attorney who also works as the director of Latin American initiatives at the Women’s Equality Center. A lot of her work centers on foreign policy and we should ALL read this great interview she did with the Center for Feminist Foreign Policy to learn more about reproductive rights abroad!
Sonia Sotomayor and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
OK OK OK these are obvious, but come on we couldn’t NOT mention them! Sotomayor, please save us from the demise of Roe! We’re counting on you!