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Youth Fighting for Abortion Access
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Youth Fighting for Abortion Access

Larada, a member of Advocates for Youth, joins Sabia to talk about why the future of abortion access and reproductive health is young people.

After a little break from recording, Sabia is back with a new episode and welcomes Larada (she/they) to the space as the first guest since the overturning of Roe.

Larada is a Community Organizer, Public Speaker, and Doula

She works as an Abortion Out Loud Youth Activist and Creators Council Member @Advocates for Youth, as well as is an abortion storyteller with YouthTestify (a project of Advocates and We Testify).

Check out these organizations to learn more about the work they are doing:

Advocates for Youth

YouthTestify

WeTestify


Transcription

*provided by Otter.ai - we apologize for any errors

Sabia  00:00

Okay. All right. It's actually like, I didn't mention this, but like, we kind of took a pause on recording. Because like, the prior recordings are about, like, most of the questions was like, what would a post roll America be like? And now we're like, close, we're here. Yeah, we're here. So this is actually like our first conversation coming into what we were kind of imagining before. So anyway, welcome to my space. Larada. How are you doing?

Larada 00:37

I am trying the best that I can. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I'm definitely trying the best that I can. I'm really trying to scale my impact. And think about what I can do, what's in my control and what's not. And just taking my pause, and my rest, and taking care of me when I can, because we're in it for the long haul, just terms of what needs to be done for expanding and protecting abortion access. And I know that, and I'm definitely against feeling my impact in trying to do the best that I can to take care of me and find joy, and that part with things and spend time with my loved ones. 

Sabia  01:32

That part we're gonna get on to what she said, because I think all those pieces are super important, and especially like this, like, you know, knowledge of like, we're

gonna be in this for the long run, right? Like, this is not just like we did this. And now, you know, roe is gonna go back to what it was next year, or like, No, we're like, this could be 50 years. It's gonna be five years, like we don't really know. But anyway, can you speak about the work that you do? What is your work? What does that look like?

Larada 01:53

Lots of work actually. So I organized for a pro choice legislative and advocacy policy organization. I'm also on the board of our statewide abortion fund here in the state of California called Access reproductive justice. And I also am a youth activist with Advocates for Youth in the abortion law program. And then I'm also an abortion doula. So I support people to their abortion experiences. Do all the fucking work, listen, I'm like every angle to get him over here. Bitch, I'm over here. Okay, I'm, look, I'm everywhere, everywhere. 

Sabia

But you have to be almost you have to be because I want people to do within their capacity. But I think like as a person who is an you know, a doula, who also educates. It also says in conversations about where we're going in the future, what's the last like? It is something about having kind of the full view of what's going on, right? Like, because being like direct care, like being being that doula on the underground doing the work, it comes with us, you learn so much, right? But it's like, how do we apply this to the things that are going to be affecting us in the future, two things are going to be you know, so really appreciating just all the work that you're doing, I mean, definitely, like empathizing too, on how much energy it takes. Like, and like how much like, this, like constant state of awareness that you have to be in. That is very exhausting. But then it's also and I and I feel like you probably feel this way too. It's like, there's no other work, I'd rather be doing. 

Larada

No work. No other work I'd rather be doing every other day. I'm like, I'm so done with repro don't even say to me, but there's nothing else that I'd rather be doing. 

Sabia 

It's a it's a love hate kind of thing. So I definitely get it. So I would like to know, so many things. But I would like to just know, like, what has been like in the work that you're doing? It says this like shifts, right? Obviously, we're in our post roe America. What what are the things that stand out to you? And the work that you as like direct care, what have you noticed, you're like, shit like, this is really fucked up. Or this is really shifted immediately. And even like in the more like, you know, kind of policy and structure places do what are the shifts that you're seeing that were like now that we're like, I don't know, a month into being posted roe? What does it look like? 

Larada

So I'll say the biggest shift for me in just direct care is people asking questions around the type of care that they can receive. Now, you know, people were like, is it legal where I'm at? Can I still do this? Can we even talk about this right? Questions like that around? You know, where do I go to get it? Well, if I can't get it here, then where can I go to get it? I don't know what I'm going to do like more about what's the process and logistics and of getting their abortion and also the legality of it, because I know that, you know, that has come into action has been in question. And a lot of people are just like thinking that abortion is banned everywhere because of Roe got overturned, which if you're on the outside looking in, you're not like super well versed or, you know, that's not your field of work and you're not like, game. So no, you just you just don't know, right, because of how, you know, public, I guess public facing this. This is but also like, not, they're not really being a lot of like education or conversation around, like what it really means. You know, a lot of questions around that policy saw policy was just a lot of my work is getting people to, you know, kind of get motivated around. And like do work when needed around our bills in a state of California that we're trying to pass to expand and protect, you know, abortion access in the state. And, you know, a lot of that is kind of just hurry up and wait, right? You're just waiting for the bills that be heard, they get heard the you know, what you have to do when you have to send people to, you know, ask people to make calls and submit letters or, you know, when you have to ask people to call their, their state reps and stuff. So, you know, and then you know, they're in recess right now. So we're kind of just waiting. And then when they get back in recess, you know, there's going to be like a month before the end of session. Before there's like the end of session. So hurry up and making sure hurrying up and making sure that like all of the bills get heard. And, you know, we are up to speed on like the process and where things are, which isn't too much of my work, just making sure, just more so driving people to respond when needed to,you know, bills and stuff, 

Sabia

but on just like an increase in urgency. 

Larada

There's such an it's so weird to responding to the urgency sometimes. Because, I mean, obviously, I'm not talking about like, when people have to respond to something like this in general. But I mean, like, people were messaging you asking where they can go or what they can do. You bag like, you know, lots of people will like reach out, asking, you know, what they can do, but I'm kinda like, yes, you're important. But you know, we've been having this conversation for months now. And you will 1000 Other people have been asking, and I have to get to people when I can, when I'm able to get to them on in midst, also juggling all these other things. And also, like, half the time, like a couple of days after the league dropped, I found out I was pregnant, it was getting an abortion. So that was also a really weird time to be navigating that experience. Yeah, in general, like on the side of that. But yeah, this responding to people's urgency sometimes is really the urgency right now, it was really such a weird place to be in because you want people to, you're trying to really capitalize, not capitalize, but really, you know, get people involved. Now, you know, because it's the perfect time to get people involved. You know, we need more people need space, we need more people don't just want anybody in the space. Because we think because you know, this is going to make them feel good for themselves and make them feel like they accomplished something and are doing something, even though we've been having these conversations around for years. And you like invite people into the space, and then they bring all of the problematic mentalities that, you know, I would argue, are kind of the reason we are here, we are now into this space. And it's really a lot to juggle. But my first year you my primary thing right now is just making sure that I don't, at least the heart of my work. I know, everyone's approach is different. But the heart of my work and what I do, and like it really informs my work is just making sure that people that are getting and seeking abortion or care, in general, are not too far removed from our conversations. Like they're not just some like idea, right, like large portions and lots of people are impacted for sure. So not just, you know, really about proxies, you know, yeah, making sure that people are taking care of and getting, 

Sabia

I mean, I think like I totally hold on to that because like so a part of like, the substack is like birth neoterism, right. And like, the reason why I created like that framework was because like my foundation is always reproductive justice. Right. It's the it's the air that I breathe. But one thing that I have noticed is like going into this work, people are activated right we're activated all the time. Like we're talking about bodily autonomy and and like inclusion and abortion access and like all these things that are very important to humaneness, right. But we're also as people experiencing our own traumas and our own things and our own ideas that are things that we have been born into and things that we're trying to shake off, but it's hard, like, you know, to like, all these things that are happening. But one thing that I noticed is like, coming into this work, especially when it's, it's like high points of tension like it is right now, right with like overturning Roe, it can be really easy to get away from the people care, right? Like, it's easy to like, think about the policy and the politicians and the thoughts and their feelings and the arguments. And, you know, what does this mean for me and like all these things that are legit, right? But they take away from, hey, there's still someone needing access to abortion today, right now? The right time in real time, right? So like, how do we continue to like center that person? Even as we are maneuvering, our personal trauma, right, our collective trauma or whatever, is like keeping it centered to like, hey, soon as that ship passed, or wherever the fuck somebody was, like, I still need an abortion. And I'm in a state, where they're like, cutting shit off. Hours after roe. After roe fell, Ohio was like one of the first states to go in and lift an injunction for a block that they had on a fetal, a fetal detection, I'm not putting heartbeat six weeks, like hours after the decision got leaked. So people are wasting time, and there was already a little different, like, really difficult to get an abortion in Ohio already. So before you know, and when Roe was the quote, unquote, law of the land, so I'm just Yeah, and I think one of the things that we kind of brought up pre recording was like this, like, since you live in California now.

11:48

But like, obviously aware of Ohio and that whole thing, but I think like, there's also this like, perceived idea that because it's California is easy to access an abortion and like, it's, you know, it's like, it's easier than I mean, obviously, it's easier than Ohio, but it's not necessarily easy. So, I would love for you to just talk about, like, kind of us be able to let that perception go. And like what is the actual reality of like, what it means to access abortion in California. Right. And it may be in that being a state that is open to abortion, you know, access, but like, is it really, so it really is so interesting navigating these conversations to the Californians, because I think that, you know, as people who have been here, maybe like their whole lives, they have maybe this idea of California, that maybe your may or may not be true, I will say that I always have to when people I talk to people about, you know, work that we can do in the state to expand access, or protect access for like, you know, we're in California, we don't have to worry about that. I'm so glad I'm in California. And I always have to say, you know, I don't know, it wasn't too long ago that y'all have arnold schwartzaneggar as your governor, so anything that happened within these next four years, but I also will say, I always have to inform people that like there's not really a single state in this country, or very few and far between that doesn't have some type of abortion restriction or ban on the books. So even in states that are blue states, right. Like there's gestational limits where you, you know, may have to travel out of term abortion, um, you know, maybe, you know, insurance, your Medicaid doesn't cover, you can't cover your birth, and so you have to come out of pocket, right? I'm always having to remind people that like, there's still work to be done. And it's really interesting, too, because I think that since abortion, and like doing this work, I've really become more appreciative and more well versed in like logistics of things. Because, yes, when it's public facing, you know, you have the governor on TV saying, you know, this state is going to be open to anyone who needs to come get an abortion. That's amazing. That's a great state. Our governor is pro abortion, right? You have to think about the 3,000% of people who are going to be coming here. Right. Let's also talk about the people who already live here who live in areas and that are abortion deserts, right, like the Central Valley, traveled hundreds of hundreds of miles to go get their abortion, right. Let's talk about that. Right. There was already you know, the issues here sometimes with folks navigating their insurance, maybe the copay is more expensive and out of the hospital than just going to the clinic. Right. So that's already an issue that lots of people face here on top of there not really being like a lot of providers here. There's not a lot of providers here. I remember when I specifically I remember when I was getting my abortion the third time, which was recently a couple of days after the leake fell, or the league came out. I was trying to get my abortion and like, you know, quick on Friday schedule. And they're like, actually, this was an intake with Planned Parenthood. I was like, actually, this was an inpaint call, we only do surgicals are in clinic abortions on Fridays, and I'm like, Okay, it's Thursday, I come in tomorrow, like, No, you're gonna have to wait another week, we're booked out. So I'm like, let me call this other clinic because I'm not waiting to find out and I went to the year before that I knew provided surgical stuff that was there a year prior. And they're like, Yeah, we don't do those anymore. So clinics in the state that aren't providing surgicals at all, are only once a week. And if we're talking about a 3,000%, of influx of people, I'm thinking about the people who, you know, at that point can't may not be able to take abortion pills in half to get the procedure and you’re only doing clinicals once a week. That's what how are we going to maintain the population that's coming in, right? Like how, like, what's that waiting list look like? Right. And one of the worst things that you can tell to somebody who's pregnant and no longer wants to be and wants to terminate their pregnancy and get an abortion is that they have to wait longer sorry, is that they have to wait longer. So that's already an issue that I can see. And the definitely just increased wait times, I was trying to call Planned Parenthood just to ask a simple question post procedure. And I was like 30 callers ahead.

16:16

And I didn't get a call back for like four or five hours. And that's going to be so much worse. Like when like as this goes on, it's going to be like, and I've thought about that too. Just like, if you are first of all, if you're in an area where you can't really access abortion, so that's travel and shit, right. And you're in a space where you have to take off for work, right? So that might be, you have to wait two weeks to take off for work, like but then that may not align with the place that may be closest to you. And whatever that means, because they may have a waitlist for like, Who fucking knows how long for real? Like, and now so now it's changing the type of procedure that you can get this type of, you know, abortion procedure you can have, because now we're looking at different gestational times. Right? And like, also, what does that mean for your mental health? Your physical health? What does that mean for like, you know, and like it even like, when I was looking at, I think I was on Twitter. And people were talking about like, unfortunately, like domestic violence victims, and like, how pregnancy is one of like, the leading causes people dying, right, and those in those situations, and I was like, yeah, like someone who's in that situation, who might be four weeks pregnant, you know, or six weeks pregnant, having to then wait until 14 weeks or like, 12 weeks, like, that's a difference that is like, that's what someone could start to detect. What's going on with you, you know, I'm saying like, it's hard to like, even, like, hide, what could be like, I just think about like, all these like, very specific situations. And just like even if somebody who was in a quote unquote, healthy, dynamic and healthy, quote, unquote, life and have what they need, like, to have to wait for a medical procedure for that long. That's awful. 

Larada

Well, we're not just talking about anything, we're talking about pregnancy, right? Like, yeah, for myself, you know, like being, you know, in this work, navigating an abortion, those time, like those times that I did, even in being in this work, I'm like, Man, I have to work before I have my appointment. I'm tired. Right. And that was also not like, people don't get fired for being pregnant. Right. But thinking about the people that have to wait. And you know, like, maybe throwing up at work or you know, may have a supervisor that's like, I don't know, you know, watching them and healthy workplace, there's just so many layers to it. And I think that we should have conversations beyond Oh, I'm going to blue state. So this is going to be this is going to be fine. Or my governor took a stance and I'm so glad that I'm not in Texas, those poor people in Texas, couldn't be me right. Now, not, you know, not having conversations about like, what other brown the full depth of this and what it means. 

Sabia

And also just like that, like being in a blue state, a blue state doesn't protect you. And the ways that we think they do and even like, you know, states that are still providing abortion services now have these new problems to deal with. Right so even if an abortion is quote unquote accessible, it's it's the win. Because what are they gonna do? They can't prioritize, you know, that how are they going to? How are they going to prioritize, right like someone coming in and meeting in there this many weeks and this person has this many weeks, but they often you know, it's like, it's a lot to think about, like, we don't so much nationwide, nations today, we don't have the infrastructure, um, to what am what is the like, how do you even choose who has priority based on what you know what I mean like, and that also means that some people will unfortunately be He put in a space where they probably don't even have an abortion as an option anymore. 

Larada

Oh, yeah, like, yeah, depending on how long they have to wait. And when I was like started doing my Doula trainings, that was something that I started thinking about to like, maybe I should do some something around labor, because I know that at some point, you know, unfortunately, and this is a point that I read is like people not being able to, you know, not have access to their abortions isn't just devastating. Because it's devastating, like, a lot of the times and like I even know, people who were like, you know, maybe in the the barriers don't just start with, like, physical barriers, it's restricted in my state. It's also stigma in the communities, right? I know, like, yeah, I have, I've talked to people who are like, Yeah, I've had religious, a religious family. And, you know, there was no way that I would have been able to get an abortion, and we're forced into pregnancy. And that's what's gonna be happening like, people. I know that, you know, abortion funds are helping to, you know, coordinate travel when is when needed. But thinking about one the amount of people who already don't know that abortion funds exist, people who may not be able to travel, what options do they have? And that's why we need to have conversations beyond choice, right? Because if you're talking to someone who's already low income, in the area, where, you know, a region where abortion is heavily restricted or banned, super in a very conservative environment, no access to transportation can take time off work, but they're pregnant and want to get an abortion. That sounds like they're having the thought that isn't someone that right? This is the people having these situations. 

Sabia

That part, yes, right. There is no choice. And I just can't, I can't even I can't like as a doula. And a doula who has you know, specifically done a lot of births. That should it's hard, like, pregnant is hard. Having a baby is hard. Raising a child is hard, emotionally, financially, you know, all these things that are happening in in, you know, 

Larada

just especially now, because it's not like you can just send the kids to school into daycare now, because there's also the you know, who who can afford daycare, right? 

Sabia

Who can afford daycare, and then also right, like, even like, I was talking to my baby moms, right, who's like my real close friend, and like, we raised her kids together. And like, you know, it's time for the youngest one who's four. So I go into school, and I was like, bro, you can't put my kid into traditional school, like, I can't, my anxiety can't handle how much is going on in schools right now. So it's like, even these like, places of like, what would have been or could be seen as like a break, right? So like, it's just trying to get educated and like they in their social groups, and whatever. It's like, also this worry about, like the danger of putting them in these environments. Now, like, I can't imagine, like, bringing a child into the world went into this even like if you want to, but if you really don't want to, like the pressure that that holds, you know what I mean? Like and what that means for you, what that means for your future, what that means for your mental health, what that means for that child's mental health, right? What that means for the child's quality of life. Right? It's all these things. 

Larada

And development, you're like, I was really like when you know, COVID first dropped, like in 2020, you know, talking to people who had kids, and they're like, yeah, they're in kindergarten, and like trying to separate them and tell them and telling them that they have to be six feet away from each other on the playground. This is like the most important time for children right now, especially in their development and like learning social kids and social skills and how to interact with each other. Um, it's really hard. It's hard. I listen, 

Sabia

I tell the parents I'm like, well, kudos to you guys. Listen, I'm struggling with two dogs, you know, I'm saying and they don't care that many needs, like, hear me. I know. I'm like, What the fuck? Okay, like, sit down and see what I was doing beforehand, like you eaten? I'm trying to record like, I can't imagine anyway. My question for you is talking about all these things, especially like,  talking about the conversation around, like, is it really choice? Right? Like, what? What do you feel like the future of abortion access looks like, what does it need? Like? What would you like to see be created? At this time, then, yeah, I was just looking pretty murky. 

Larada

I don't think that I realized until you know, I started, you know, doing abortion, access work and being in this space. And obviously, like, you just don't know until you're there. How much of our space and how much of just repro in general, is oversaturated with white voices, voices of people who maybe have not had any reproductive experience, especially like abortion. So a lot of people who aren't young So a lot of young people in this space, and also just my gosh, I was at this event, so I knew that this event, right, and like it was it was the, the event was a good event, right? Like we're talking about abortion access, where people can do you know, all that kind of stuff. But one of the questions I acts afterwards, just like, wherever these people's kids, like, they everybody in this group is like, older or like, even out of the range should be accessing an abortion, like no shade, you know, I'm saying like, no shade, it's just that, like, the group that I feel like would probably really be in this right, like, even if they're not accepted access to abortion, their reproductive years, it's like there any, you know, I'm saying like, when need this information? They're not here, where are they just really like focusing on what you said, because I was like, hello. 

Larada

Which is so wild. Because, Wow, I feel like similar groups are asking on any given day of the week, when people are working, where they can have pro choice protests, people can't get abortions. You know, it's younger people, you know, it's us, coordinating resources in our communities, making sure that people know how to support other people in their experiences, getting each other to and from the clinics, donating to abortion funds, making sure that that community has the information that they need about abortion and contraceptive access. Like, it's really so loud, saying who gets uplifted, and who's actually doing the work? I think that's so important. 

Sabia

So the future of abortion access is, I was just having this conversation to with somebody that we were talking about, like elders and reproductive health, and, you know, and but I was like, there's a missed opportunity when we don't listen to younger people. Right, there's a missed opportunity, when we, we just put them to the side, it's like, well, you don't have the life experience. Right? But you have the knowledge, you might not have all the life experience when you're 22. Right. But that doesn't mean that you don't have the knowledge, you don't have the awareness you don't have, you might have more life experience. And I'm assuming you have anyway. Right. But like, it's such a missed opportunity. And when we don't join that knowledge and awareness with people who are in their, like, the like, reproductive years, you're gonna say, Oh, right.

Larada

And like people who are also like, people who are also leading this work as young people, or a lot of the times have already had abortions themselves. Yeah, I really do think that the future and maybe I'm just a little biased, but I do think that the future of abortion access is really young people, right. And I don't just mean like young people, you know, stereotypically the stereotypical, you know, idea of like, you're pro choice or pro abortion activists in college, right? There are students on college campuses doing amazing work, to, you know, expand abortion access, specifically around medication, abortion on their campuses, there are students doing work around making sure that their campus community and beyond is educated. And when you know, a post roe world means to them in their community. There are young people doing that work, you know, on campuses, but I think that young people in general, you know, really holding it down. And this is also the future that we're going to inherit, and inheriting assets, and, you know, really bringing us to the table, I don't want to be at the table anymore, keep the table, I've seen what's at the table, bringing us into the conversations, because this is one that we're going to inherit, at some point like this is not just something that's happened and it's like, oh, it's gonna be a bad year. I mean, we can see the implemented the implications of the Hyde Amendment, almost 50 years later, right. Like, these public policy, bad policy isn't just for a moment. I know that it's really hard to see that especially being in America and everything. So rapid response. So now so about the moment but bad policy isn't just about the moment, like bad policy is we're still suffering from stuff that happened under Trump. Yeah, happened under Bush, the first innocent, right like it's this is something that is going to impact us for years to come. Like we're definitely going to feel the the implementation implications of this, whether it be the increase in prison population of people who were under maybe have been suspected to have maybe terminated their pregnancies are getting abortions, people who are going to be criminalized pregnancy loss, 

Sabia

People who are going to get criminalized for helping the people we're going to get criticized for housing for transporting for knowing for care like it's know 

Larada

also instead the blue states. I mean, I don't know how long but I mean, at some point, we're really going to start filling those that influx of people who are you know, coming an out of state to get care at some point, right? We're, that's going to be something that we feel for years to come. So I definitely think that the future of abortion access requires a lot of foresight, and thinking, and I'm really, I'm sick of being organized. The anti abortion side, I'm not going to say the other side, because we're talking about accessing health care. And you being a white supremacist isn't yes, there's not two, there's not two sides of a coin around just not a debate. Um, but it's really so Wow, seeing how organized they are, and how like, sometimes we still are just like, going round one. on the first page. I'm so sick of being organized. And I think that is really going to require us to be more for thinking and working together. I know, it sounds so cliche, but like, no, it's real shit. 

Sabia

Literally the reason why I told you, like, built birth neoterism, because I was like, we're doing the work for sure. Right? Like we're collectively doing the work, right. But there are these things that we need to be working on our personal traumas, our, you know, how we're regulating ourselves so that we can be more organized, so that we can be forward thinking so that we can be innovative, right, because like, when I think about the reason why we have gotten to the point that we're in now, is because like, these people stayed organized through years and years and years of shit, right? So like, you know, soon as roe became a thing, they were like, We're gonna stay consistent. And we're gonna like, wait 50 fucking years, and then we're gonna get the show overturned, right? That's what we're gonna do and that, but that type of work, right? It requires this type of this level of togetherness, even if we are not agreeing on everything, you know what I'm saying? Like, and you have to have the capacity for that you have to have the capacity for nuance, right? And like, we have to have that in our spaces in our organizing spaces, so that we can move forward and add it even make it even stronger impact that we have already. You know what I mean? So I, I appreciate you all that because I'm bringing them to youth listen, I mean, I'm 33. So I'm like, in that space where like, I'm not like, youth youth, but I'm youth, you know, I'm saying like, when I go, right? They're like, Oh, baby, but I'm like, I'm 33 I'm kind of grown. And I feel like, you know, 20s I'm like, I felt like a baby. But 30s I'm like, I thought I was growing, which I still try and discount me. 

Larada

But like 24, 25 organizing is like, yeah, like, bye

Sabia

So the one thing I want to ask you, though, before we close out our time together, is how are you taking care of yourself? Through doing all this work through being a person who is affected by this work? By being a person that's existing in this world? Being whoever you are, as everyone, you are your community and your family, your friends? How are you taking care of yourself. 

Larada

Um, I'm like, did I even drink a sip of water the day before I get on here and start lying. Um, I, it comes in waves, I think it depends on the day, when I'm trying to continue to ground myself and daily is that, again, we're in this for a long call. And also, I'm not the only reproductive justice organizer practitioner in the world. There are so many wonderful, amazing, brilliant, you're doing amazing, sweetie, like they're so brilliant people and dedicated people in this work. If I go take a break for a week to go enjoy myself, the abortion is not going to come you know abortion access, and it's not going to be restored. And states that just are actively trying to ban it. Right. It's sad that you know, it can't just be happened within you know, the drop of I wish that you know, things can be restored. And we can have things as quick as they're taking away taken away from us. But with that being said, really scaling my impact and taking it day by day. Some days are harder than others, right? Like some days you're like, Okay, well, now the dust has settled, I want to you know, have a reprieve and that sometimes, you know, stuff happens again, I think that in this movement is really so hard because so many things are happening at the same time. Just randomly stuff that we're prepared for. And so many areas and I think just in general, if we're talking about like sexual reproductive health, there's so many fires, like sex education, right

Sabia

There's so literally so much going on and it's like, I was talking to a friend of mine this morning. And you know, I was like it's so hard doing this work because like, there are those like things I feel very like the issues are If whatever, they feel very immediate to you and your own body, right, and like, you're like, oh shit, I gotta, I gotta get ready, I gotta fight, I gotta do whatever. And then it's also like, what you are really truly into what it what reproductive justice is. It's also the things that maybe aren't necessarily immediately connected to you, but are just as meaningful, right? So you're like, I'm not only fighting for like the bodily autonomy of myself, but I'm fighting for the bodily autonomy of trans people. I'm trying to find the bodily autonomy of indigenous people, I'm fighting for these things, too. And I want to get in front of that, too, because I know all this shit is connected. Right? So like, even though I may not necessarily name me or be like, directly a saint for me, I know that fair. liberation is my liberation, too. Right? And so because of that, it gets hard to blow. Okay, what do I, what do I give today? Right? And then also, do I have the spoons to give it? Right? And within it goes back to that point, like you said, like, I'm not the only person out here. Not I have to be okay with that. 

Larada

Thats the thing, being okay with it, you know, like, and I think too, like, just working in nonprofits, you may have to hold other things, and lots of other things outside of maybe what you may have agreed to at first, right? Um, but really, I know that we're going to be in this for the long haul. And I really something that really, I would say, really, one thing that touched me, and it's like, sticking with me to just thinking about Bell Hooks, right? And like how young she was, and how much her and other black women in the movement. When I say movement, I'm just saying in general, like social media, ya know, that is their fate. You know, they get sick, they have to deal with that they die really, and I don't want that. As much as I can avoid, or try to work towards having a better outcome I'm working towards that I'm not going to get burned out in my 20s and then have to do is at some point, you're gonna have to deal with the repercussions like, and let me tell you, as a 33 year old was in doing this work for several years, baby, the health the health with go, I'm saying the health will decrease the health. Well, it's been like times, like, last year, especially last year, like one I was blessed to have the abundance and the financial capability to really like invest in my health. Right. But like, with that came like, it was two periods of time where my doctors literally was like, your blood pressure is dumb, high. And you just need to sit your ass down. And like I really like fuck with my doctors, though, because it wasn't like, none of them was like you have high blood pressure. And there's something wrong, right? It was like, you were just working too much. They know, you know, they were working with, you know, the kind of work that I do. They know, like, the kind of person I am. And they're just like, it's too much, right. And I remember last year, I was doing this conversation with someone I can't remember their name right now. But they're dope. But they were saying like, I'm not gonna let the shit kill me. Yeah. Right, I'm not gonna listen should kill me. And like, you know, now I do take breaks, like now I'm just like, I'm gonna be in my bag over here creating. And like, for me, what? And for me that's doing the work, right? When I'm in my space. And I'm creating the things I want to see. And I'm, you know, or I'm resting, or I'm spending time with people that are nourishing me. Or I'm chillin with my pets who don't give a fuck about what's going on in the world. They just care about me, right? You're good that we got right. That's like, but it's important, especially like you said, like, for people that look like us live this existence that we do. She's like, not letting this work kill us. Because it will, it will let it if you let it in. 

Larada

I can't let that happen. I've had too many, like, just this year alone. And I feel like, you know, this is like probably like, the most stressed I have been in a very long time. It's really interesting how like, that also coincides with me always at the doctor back and forth. having issues with my heart rate, like just always not feeling well, in this constant, perpetual state of just not feeling well. But then when I take those moments to chill, and maybe when I like go sit out in the sun for me to drink some water like I'm fine. When I just unplug is so funny, like me and one of my best friends have a joke. Like, it's really so interesting how our mood improves when we don't have to work and then we'll have to go back to work and just switch, switch.

Sabia

You know, but I will say I will say there is a way and like I haven't figured out all the answers yet. Right. But like, I definitely in the last seven years of doing this work, have been able to create a path to doing this work that nourishes me, more than it used to. Conversations like this nourish me, connected with people, like, you nourish me. You know, I take breaks and we I, you know, I work from home, like I work from it like I just like things that I do that nourish me. 

Larada

So I will say that, you know, it can be better, it can't be you, you just have to find it. And I agree that I find it, you gotta find it. But also community with other people was really helpful for me. And that's really how I am able to carry on. Like, I'm about to go on vacation for a week in like the middle of the desert with some of my best friends who also work in real problem, we agreed before we left before, like, we're not talking about work, we're not talking about anything like that, like that when we get there. But just also, you know, being in community with other people who I know are also feeling the weight of this and maybe a different way. And we're also a lot of us are brought into the work because of experienced experiences and being impacted, you know, by a bad economy, by restrictions and stuff, you know, you know, we can we can we feel it. So being in community, who I know, are also doing the work makes me also feel like that, you know, the woman is in good hands. Yes, yes. Whoa, thank you. 

Sabia

Thank you so much. Thank you so much for the work that you're doing for Yeah, for being out here. But also, like, Thank you for taking care of yourself and going on vacation and like, because that's what we need. We need sustainability. Right? And like we have as much as we thank people for like going out and fighting the good fight. We're gonna thank them for resting. Because like that, to me means like, Oh, you're doing the things to take care of yourself so that we can be in this right for a long run, you know what I mean? So thank you for that and finding that balance. And like for sure, always feel free to hit me up. Yes, Instagram. Yes. And like I will definitely follow you back and like, yeah, like let me keep you keep me you know, just in the mix of what's going on and how I can help and how I can be of service but you're doing some amazing shit but definitely go on that vacation and be shoe. You me I got everything. I gotta say. up like turn up every little desert pictures and shit.

Sabia  42:19

That's the hair gonna be hearing. It's gonna you know,

Larada

 I got my nails done. I got my toes done. I got the fits to have. We're doing and I'm gonna eat good. How come well we listen. Okay, Amen. Hallelujah.

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The Birth Neoterist Newsletter
The Birth Neoterist Newsletter Audio Files
A collection of interviews on Designing and Creating the Future of Birth.
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Sabia Wade, The Black Doula