NLIRH in the News

NLIRH in the News

July 29, 2010

Baby Baiting

NLIRH Executive Director Silvia Henriquez was quoted in The Nation regarding the term "anchor babies" - the ugly epithet used to label children born of undocumented immigrants.

July 21, 2010

The Myth of the Teen Pregnancy Epidemic

Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of Choice USA, debunks misconceptions about teen pregnancy and references research from our recent White Paper regarding the failings of campaigns that rely on stigma and shame.

July 14, 2010

NLIRH: Building a Movement for Latina Reproductive Justice (VIDEO)

On May 20, 2010, the Ms. Foundation for Women honored NLIRH Executive Director Silvia Henriquez as one of three "2010 Women of Vision" awardees at its annual Gloria Awards. The "Women of Vision" award celebrates grassroots women activists and philanthropists whose achievements bring us closer to our vision of a just and inclusive democracy.  Feminist icon, Gloria Steinem presented the award to Silvia.  Take a look at a video, produced by the Ms. Foundation, which highlights some of the critical reproductive justice work NLIRH has accomplished under Silvia's leadership.

June 2, 2010

Calling for a shift in discourse on young motherhood

Veronica Bayetti Flores, our Senior Policy Analyst, published this great article about young motherhood in the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Newsletter.

As a part of the reproductive justice community, we share a set of values that we believe will allow all persons to live their lives freely and in good health; we value sexual freedom, integrity of the body and personal autonomy, and we reject any system of reproductive coercion. In fact, a key aspect of reproductive justice is advocating for all persons to be able to make the reproductive decisions that they feel are best for them, and to eliminate all the systems that create barriers to these decisions being made freely. Because we share these justice values, we believe it is important to change the discourse surrounding young motherhood and the policies meant to address the issues young mothers face.

May 6, 2010

Citizenship Law Fans Women's Fears in Arizona

Arizona's new law on checking immigration papers rings special alarms for women whose new names after marriage or divorce might not match electronic records. Others in mixed-status relationships fear their families could get torn apart.

Arizona's new law on citizenship documentation is expected to take a heavy toll on immigrant women, particularly those with children and those in mixed-status marriages.

"This law will drive immigrant women deeper into the shadows by subjecting immigrants in Arizona to racial profiling and other civil liberties violations," said Connie Andersen, a leader of the Valley Interfaith Project, a nonpartisan organization of congregations, schools and other nonprofit organizations in Arizona's Maricopa County. "Simple acts like walking to a store as well as life-changing decisions like taking refuge in a domestic violence shelter will be more complicated because immigrant women are required to have their papers on them at all times in case they are stopped by police."

M. Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, director of policy at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based nonprofit organization, echoed that concern.

"Verification laws take a disproportionate toll on women, who make up more than half of all immigrants according to census data," she said. "Studies have shown that as many as 32 million voting-age citizens and immigrant women in the U.S. lack available proof of citizenship documents because electronic record-keeping systems often fail to keep track of changes in women's names."

May 5, 2010

Why is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on Cinco de Mayo?

Today is Cinco de Mayo. It is not, contrary to popular belief, Mexican Independence Day. It's actually a celebration of the Mexican victory over the French in a battle in 1862. Many also point out that the holiday is more celebrated in the US than in Mexico. But either way, it's a day that is associated with Latinos, and often celebrated through cultural appropriation and eating things like guacamole and drinking tequila. But that's another post.

May 5, 2010

Is Immigration A \"Women's Issue\"?

Is the Arizona's new immigration law — wherein officials can ask to see an individual's papers based on the individual's appearance — a feminist issue? And what does that even mean?

There are two ways to answer this question, which Jessica Yee posed at Bitch yesterday. First, there's the fact that many of the Arizonans affected by SB-1070 are women, who under enforcement of the law, are at risk both in the general sense and in the risks particular to women. Then there's the more theoretical issue of what it means to critique power structures.

Let's start with the first one. Census data shows that more than half of all immigrants are women, and many of them are the primary breadwinners for their families.

From the beginning, these women are more vulnerable than their male counterparts, particularly if they lack documentation to enter this country. For example, a recent Amnesty International report found that six out of 10 Central American women are raped in Mexico, a passage they make on the way to the United States.

May 4, 2010

Is Arizona Immigration Law a Feminist Issue?

Over at the Bitch blogs, Jessica Yee has a short burst of analysis on the fight over Arizona immigration law. Here's the nugget that caught my attention:

What's been happening in Arizona is horrific on so many levels to so many people and communities – but it has really had me reflecting. When do certain issues get considered "feminist" and when do they not? And when do they require a real feminist response in action?

There have been several excellent female responses to the situation in Arizona by way of intersecting the impacts to women and children, sexuality, and even religion (read all of the amazing stuff the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is posting here), yet so much of the mainstream media we've been hearing is of course way too predictably patriarchal in nature; people making excuses for enacting racist legislation, utilizing fear-based tactics to legitimize white supremacy to "protect" the women and children, etc., etc.

May 4, 2010

Henriquez: Protect Our Families Against Arizona’s New Anti-Immigration Law

With Mother’s Day approaching, in many immigrant communities, it begins to feel like every woman in the neighborhood is having a birthday at the same time. Strangers proclaim, “Happy Mother’s Day!” to every woman who passes on the street; colorful balloons and roses are ubiquitous: tied to strollers, purses, wrists and canes.

What’s happening in these ethnic enclaves on Mother’s Day is an outpouring of appreciation for the central role immigrant women play in their families and communities, a role reflected by the recent data. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates more than half of all immigrants are women, and the New America Media identified a trend of immigrant women as primary breadwinners and family caretakers. In addition, while 90 percent of Hispanic children in the U.S. are American citizens, 62 percent of Hispanic children in the U.S. have at least one immigrant parent. Data also show that immigrant women are often the ones to initiate the citizenship process for their families.

January 22, 2010

Securing Real Choices Means Going Beyond "Choice"

This post is part of  RH Reality Check's "What Does Choice Mean to You?" series commemorating the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

I was a junior in high school the first time I understood the political meaning of the term pro-choice. My very progressive, feminist “herstory” teacher organized a school trip to attend the 1992 abortion rights march in Washington DC. Sadly I was unable to go, but I eagerly made feminist signs, created slogans, and supported my friends who did attend. I soaked in everything about the abortion rights movement.  It was a turning point in my political consciousness.

January 4, 2010

Now is the time for Latinas to speak up

Last month, while the nation's attention was focused on Washington, D.C., and whether Congress would exclude abortion access from its health care reform package, a mirror image of that debate was taking place in Travis County, Texas. As members of Congress debated how to avoid using tax dollars for abortion care, Travis County officials did the exact opposite: They voted to use county tax dollars for abortion care for women living in poverty.

December 31, 2009

La salud reproductiva de las hispanas

Diversos estudios demuestran que —por razones muy diversas y complejas— las mujeres latinas están en una situación de enorme desventaja en materia de educación y derechos de salud reproductiva.

December 5, 2009

National Latina Institute Rallies for Real Health Care Reform on Capitol Hill

Washington, DC--- The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), Latina activists and reproductive health and rights groups rallied on Capitol Hill to demand Congress and the President eliminate the double standard in health care reform for women and immigrants. NLIRH and Latina activists traveled from New York City to Capitol Hill to protect the health and rights of Latinas and their families.

November 16, 2009

HPV Vaccination Immigration Requirement Rescinded

Effective December 14th, young women who are seeking legal permanent resident status in the United States will no longer be required to be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

November 16, 2009

Immigrant seekers won't have to get HPV vaccine

DALLAS (AP) — Immigrant girls and women will no longer have to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus to get their permanent U.S. residency permits.

Starting Dec. 14, the HPV, or human papillomavirus vaccine will no longer be on the list of immunizations female immigrants ages 11 to 26 must receive before becoming legal permanent residents.

November 13, 2009

The Other Fight in Health Reform: Immigrants' Access to Medical Coverage

Outrageous, incredible, unbelievable.

We’ve heard these words quite a lot from reproductive rights groups and pro-choice advocates, still in shock over the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to pass an amendment banning most abortions from all public and privately funded health plans in the insurance exchange.  The idea that women would have to plan for an unplanned pregnancy is ludicrous and simply a red herring as anti-choice advocates attempt to make Roe null and void.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health shares this outrage, and is working to generate Latino calls to ensure women's right to access abortion care--and to decide for themselves how to spend their private health care dollars--is a part of the final Senate bill.