On January 12, Mayor de Blasio's office announced that the city will be relocating the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims (honored as the father of modern gynecology despite the fact that his medical experiments were performed on enslaved Black women) and take several additional steps to inform the public of the statue's historical context. As you may remember, NAPW joined East Harlem Preservation and many others demanding that the statue located in East Harlem be removed. We also produced a NAPW Webinar: Racism, Reproductive Justice, & the Monument to Dr. J. Marion Sims that addressed the full history, the controversy, and where we might go in the future.
Also on January 12, NAPW issued a response condemning a Montana County Attorney's public statement calling for a "crackdown" on pregnant women. According to the statement, every pregnant woman should be constantly monitored for the use of alcohol or non-medically prescribed drugs, turned in to state authorities by friends, family members, health care providers and strangers, and become subject to court orders of protection that may be enforced through arrest and incarceration to "incapacitate" expecting mothers. Pregnant women are advised to "immediately self-report" to the Department of Health and Human Services to avoid prosecution. You can read the statement and our response HERE.
Because we document and fight punishment of pregnant women, we know that a single County Attorney's statement can ignite similar responses by prosecutors across the country. That is why we were quick to voice our opposition and to reach out to allies at national and local organizations to do the same. We hope that our early, strong opposition will put an end to this latest blatant misuse of power and counter the dangerous and misleading ideas it promotes about pregnant women. You can help by calling Big Horn County Attorney Gerald "Jay" Harris at (406) 665-9721 or emailing at JHarris@BigHornCountyMT.gov and reminding him that there is zero evidence that punitive approaches targeting pregnant women improve maternal, fetal, or child health.
We are asking you to join us at the Women's March on New York City on Saturday, January 20. NAPW will gather at 11am on the SE corner of 73rd Street/Columbus Avenue and march the route. If you can't make it to NYC, please represent NAPW in your local area by carrying signs with our Knocked Up, Fight Back! graphics. You can find instructions for making NAPW signs on our blog. Please take a picture of yourself and send it to us at info@AdvocatesForPregnantWomen.org or share on our Facebook.
These kinds of activities, including the ability to respond quickly to shocking events like the Montana County Attorney's statement, would not be possible without your support.
Please help us continue our work and join us at our Spring Celebration!