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“How can we uphold that principle [of self-determination] if we aren’t giving referrals and resources that really support people’s self-determination to make informed decisions about when, whether, how to have a family?”

Kathrine Bisanz

In this podcast, Katherine Bisanz provides a framework for guiding social workers in addressing issues of reproductive health: reproductive justice. More inclusive than the concept of “choice”, reproductive justice is about ensuring that people have the social, political, and economic power to make healthy decisions about gender, bodies, sexuality, and families for themselves and their communities. Bisanz locates reproductive justice within the framework provides by NASW Code of Ethics and policy statements, and connects it to fundamental social work values and practices. Along the way, she describes the organization that she co-founded, Social Workers for Reproductive Justice, and describes the strategies that allowed the organization to become established. She closes with practical guidelines for social workers who want to learn more about reproductive justice and how to connect it to their work.

Katherine Bisanz is dedicated to making reproductive health care services accessible and stigma-free for low-income people all over the world. She received her Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and during her masters worked as a domestic violence counselor in the Latino community of Philadelphia, conducted research on motherhood and birth in Guatemala and working with the Duvall Reproductive Freedom Project of the ACLU of PA on a project that seeks to modify the reproductive health care policies in the PA county jails. After graduating, Bisanz worked to organize constituencies of voters around the issue of access to safe and legal reproductive health care services. Her most recent work was coordinating and managing patient care at Philadelphia Women’s Center, a clinic that offers safe and accessible reproductive health care services. Currently Bisanz acts as the Program Director of the Sexual Violence Center, a non-profit in Minneapolis, MN as well as the co-founder of Social Worker for Reproductive Justice (SWRJ): @socialworkersRJ

Interviewer: Gretchen Ely, PhD

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