Episode 169 - Kathrine Bisanz: Social Workers for Reproductive Justice

Monday, June 08, 2015, 7:23:43 AM

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Reproductive justice is a framework grounded in international human rights that seeks to increase social, political, and economic power and resources so that people can make healthy decisions about gender, sexuality, and families for themselves and their communities. In this episode, Katherine Bisanz, co-founder of Social Workers for Reproductive Justice, describes the organization's mission and the role of social work in this movement.

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Average Rating: 4stars  good introduction to the topic of rj in social work, Thursday, January 28, 2021

By Anonymous :

While I was hoping for a more comprehensive discussion of the topic of reproductive justice, this podcast was certainly informative and would provide a solid foundation of understanding for anyone interested in learning more about the topic. I was excited to learn more about the organization, Social Workers for Reproductive Justice, and was disappointed to find that the website does not seem to have been updated since 2016 and there are no resources available other than those mentioned in the podcast.
The biggest takeaway from this episode for me was the definition of reproductive justice offered by the interviewee. The goal, according to Bisanz, is for every person to have the "social, political, and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions about gender, bodies, sexuality, and families - for ourselves, and for our communities." That definition was new to me and certainly resonated. I feel strongly about the cause of reproductive justice and believe that it is inseparably connected to the social work field and mission. I appreciate the broader focus on all people, rather than the pro-choice movement's traditional focus on women.

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Average Rating: 5stars  a much needed movement, Saturday, February 09, 2019

By Caitlin R :

This was a great podcast. As social workers, we have an obligation to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics. I loved how Bisanz broke down our obligation to promote reproductive justice in this way. This is an issue that goes hand in hand with social justice. As Bisanz says, all people should have the ability to make healthy decisions for themselves. Prior to listening, I knew that this was a macro level issue, but always thought of it at the micro or mezzo levels (how to do broaden access to healthcare in this one particular area, how to connect services to one specific person, etc.). What I loved about this podcast is that it broadened my mind to consider this at the macro level. When social and economic injustices lead women to the inability to not be able to make decisions for themselves, we have a “power and equity” issue, as Bisanz says. I absolutely think that we have an obligation to do something about it to enact some long-term change.
I enjoyed hearing about how Social Workers for Reproductive Justice was started. Social workers absolutely belong in this movement. Social workers saw the activism of what other groups were doing (nurses and others) and then modeled our own group after it. This inspires me to look at perhaps what else social workers need to be a part of right now but are not. Thank you for the great interview. I will certainly carry the information I learned in it with me throughout my work.

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Average Rating: 5stars  interesting review of a new group , Saturday, February 04, 2017

By Abigail :

This was an incredibly interesting podcast, both in the context of the group’s message and in Bisanz’s discussion of the importance of creating spaces for education and activism where none exists. In the context of the message, I appreciated Bisanz’s emphasis on the importance of recognition of the injustices surrounding reproduction and sexuality, as well as the fact that the “choice” movement has not always been entirely accessible. This is where she created space in social work, because it was clear to her that there was a lack of social work activism in the area of reproductive justice. Additionally, the way in which she framed social work as a potential bridge between marginalized groups and reproductive healthcare was, I think, very valuable, as many social workers find their role in connecting their clients with other services. Finally, I appreciated that Bisanz was not afraid of being slightly critical of the social work profession for not taking a stronger stance on reproductive justice, and especially for not including it in the curriculums of social work education. I have noticed that while many social justice areas are covered in social work education, reproductive justice is often left out of the conversation, though it is a huge social justice topic, especially in the current political climate. I commend Bisanz for identifying a need and taking steps to fill it, and I will certainly be following this group’s actions in the future!

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Average Rating: 4stars  valuable insight, Monday, February 01, 2016

By Dree' Davis :

I found this episode on social workers for reproductive rights to be particularly valuable because it pointed out flaws in the social work field that were then remedied. Reproductive rights had been a issue taken on by nursing students, law students, and others alike but not social work students. It was significant to hear the background information which lead to the development of social workers for reproductive rights and how already established groups helped in the development process. Also, recognizing that gaps did exist in the reproductive resources offered to individuals was an important realization for the development of the program because it shed light on how these gaps decreased self determination. Gaining an understanding of how gaps can be minimized in the field of social work is inspiring.

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