East Nashtivists: A Community Fighting For Reproductive Rights & A More Inclusive Tennessee
When it comes to bodily autonomy, it's not just for reproductive rights, we've seen that it affects all of us. And so they start taking our rights away to decide, you know, whether we're going to get pregnant. And then they're taking away the right to decide what kind of medications or treatments you're going to give to your children. - Katrina Green, Emergency Physician/East Nashivists leadership team
East Nashtivists attends legislative sessions at the Capitol but has partnered with other organizations like Inclusion Tennessee and the Tennessee Equality Project to fight for LGBTQ+ rights. The Equality Project has held phone banks, organized protests, and press conferences, and encouraged advocates to show up when anti-LGBTQ+ are voted on. However, these organizations are also encouraging those in the community to take care of themselves, and know they have a shoulder to lean on when things are tough.
It's also been a tough fight for reproductive rights, in 2022 the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which enacted Tennessee's trigger law banning abortion, with no exceptions, it only includes an affirmative defense for doctors. This means the medical professional must prove the abortion was medically necessary. Since the ban, advocates for reproductive rights have taken to the streets in protest and made their concerns heard at the Capitol, and now the legislation is stalling to modify the ban.
Folks are hurting right now, there are pregnant people that are suffering, because there are delays in care, there are doctors who are leaving the state, because they're afraid to practice in this kind of environment. And that's gonna affect all of us, right, like fewer doctors means worse health care for everybody. And so even people who are pro life are really anti choice, is what we like to call them, they should be concerned about this situation, too, because fewer doctors means worse health care means higher maternal mortality. - Katrina Green, Emergency Physician/East Nashivists leadership team
Right now, Tennessee is ranked 44th in the country for overall health, we were in the same position in 2019, so not much has changed, but it needs to. One way East Nashtivists is trying to make change is by encouraging Nashvillians to get out and vote, the organization will be at several events this year for voter registration, as they partner with local groups as well as going door to door around the community. If you'd like to get more involved, East Nashtivists meets the second Wednesday of every month at East Nashville Beer Works from 5 PM until 8 PM. For the first hour, they host a happy hour, giving people a chance to show up, mingle, and socialize. Then, from six to eight is when they have their speakers. The week of March 13th, (On Sunday) they are holding a community engagement event at a vegan bipoc lesbian-owned, bakery called Yellow and Lavender.
Even if you are not in the East Nashville area, you are encouraged to come and join and help make a difference in the community.
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My name is Jess and I love telling other peoples stories and bringing awareness to the community.