Commitment to supporting GROWING FAMILIES in Colorado Springs goes far beyond the “typical” mainstream, nuclear family. We hold a special place in our hearts for those whose families don’t come about in the traditional way. Supporting families through FERTILITY, ADOPTION, SURROGACY, and LOSS is of primary importance to our business model and the local LGBT community is a large part of that. Colorado Mountain Doulas and the Colorado Springs Queer Collective have begun building strong relationships in the local community. This October, we’re turning our attention to Reproductive Justice in Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs Queer Collective fosters community leadership, education, and empowerment. Our mission is to address inequality, re-invest in the local economy, and celebrate the creative contributions of queer and trans people. We are a group of artists, entrepreneurs, and everyday change makers who are committed to transforming our communities. We lead with a visible commitment to intersectional and intergenerational work.
Colorado Mountain Doulas believes that ALL families should be nurtured and treated with respect. Our support teams help families make empowered decisions about the care they receive continuously, through early preparations, pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period. Colorado Mountain Doulas is also dedicated to elevating professional Doulas by empowering them to make sustainable contributions within the community.
What Does Reproductive Justice Mean?
Colorado Springs Queer Collective believes that “Reproductive Justice exists when all people have the social, political and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions about their gender, bodies, sexuality, and families”. We’re also deeply interested in and invested in the history of this movement since the term reproductive justice was first coined by women of color organizing to improve their communities in 1994. That’s around the same time the first International Bill of Gender Rights was drafted in 1993, so there are a lot of important intersections between the reproductive justice movement and queer/trans families locally.
How Does the Reproductive Justice Movement Affect Local Families?
The ability to make healthy decisions for ourselves and our families is a universal issue.
In the broadest sense, the economics are clear. Today, 13% of all Coloradans and 17% of Colorado’s children are living in poverty while 1 in 7 Coloradans are facing insecurity. These figures are even more staggering if we consider that the Federal Poverty Guideline is only around $24,000 gross annually for a family of 4. The issues are even more pressing for LGBTQ families. Trans people, for example, are 4 times as likely to live below the federal poverty guideline and 2.5 times as likely to be unemployed making it more difficult for them to provide for themselves or their families as a result of discrimination and inequality within our communities.
LGBTQ people also face barriers to reproductive justice in the medical and mental health fields. For example, they may have difficulty finding a queer/ trans-friendly provider in their area or be unsure where to access information about safer sex and healthy relationships. LGBTQ people who wish to start families may also face particular challenges as they navigate their adoption, birthing, surrogacy, and other parenting options locally.
We want to ensure that all families are treated fairly and have the opportunity to thrive in Colorado Springs.
How Did Colorado Mountain Doulas Get Involved?
Colorado Mountain Doulas initiated a partnership with Colorado Springs Queer Collective after a LGBTQ Strategic Planning workshop in March of 2015. Our organizations recently re-connected at a Springs Equality Chamber of Commerce meeting where we discussed strengthening local LGBTQ health networks. Together, our vision is to establish a bold new precedent for inclusive care and professional leadership.
Colorado Mountain Doulas is excited to help improve the birthing experience for all families. For LGBTQ families in particular, the goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment for queer and trans people to learn more about their options and resources. For fellow birthing professionals, the goals are to serve as mutual resources in an expanding network of inclusive providers and practices including physicians, mental health workers, etc. CSQC verified businesses will receive an electronic badge for their websites and Colorado Mountain Doulas is one of the first in the Springs to be awarded this distinction.
How Else Are You Connecting with People in Colorado Springs?
Colorado Mountain Doulas is excited to co-facilitate a session on Reproductive Justice at the Colorado Springs Queer Collective Leadership Summit for 75-100 participants on October 24th.
We’ve reached out to more than 25 organizations to join the discussion so far including Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, The Elephant Circle, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, local faith leaders, and more. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate!
We’ll be sure to make related resources available on our websites after summit day. Beyond the summit, we look forward to partnering on some continuing education credits and professional development opportunities to cover these topics in greater depth for those who’d like to help take the lead with us in 2016.
Thanks for taking an interest in Reproductive Justice in Colorado Springs!
Written By: Colorado Springs Queer Collective: August 2015