rePROs Fight Back

A News, Politics and Government podcast featuring
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Newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett has a proven track record of being a very conservative judge on issues like sexual violence, the Affordable Care Act, LGBTQ+ rights, and reproductive health and rights. In her confirmation hearing, Justice Barrett refused to answer many questions surrounding abortion, in vitro fertilization, and birth control. Caroline Reilly, legal fellow with Rewire News Group, talks to us about Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s past experience and personal views could certainly influence the future of health and rights in the United States. Support the show (
This week we are doing things a little differently! Long time listeners have probably heard our SRHR Hero Origin Stories podcast AND our SRHR Hero Origin Stories podcast: Round 2, where we talked to a number of amazing heroes in the field of reproductive health, rights, and justice and heard about how they began working in this space. We have reprised our most popular podcast episodes and talked to more leaders about their work, their passions, and their journeys into reproductive health for a third time!Guests include:Lienna Feleke-Eshete, Senior Associate of Public Policy and Movement Building at the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at Guttmacher InstituteErin Matson, Co-Founder and Co-Director of ReproactionMonica Edwards, Federal Policy Manager at Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE)Jennie Wetter with the Population Institute and rePROs Fight BackSupport the show (
The Global Gag Rule has interfered with HIV prevention and contraceptive access and has increased unintended pregnancy and abortion rates. The Trump administration has engaged in unprecedented expansion of this rule, endangering the health and lives of millions around the world and is looking to further expand who the gag rule applies to. Beirne Roose-Snyder, Director of Public Policy at the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) talks to us about the continuation of these harmful expansions even though 70 percent of Americans oppose the Global Gag Rule. Support the show (
The Commission on Unalienable Rights was convened by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The commission has championed religious freedom and property as human rights, but not reproductive health, LGBTQ+ wellbeing, immigrant rights, and more. Amanda Klasing, Interim Co-Director at the Women’s Rights Division at the Human Rights Watch and Tarah Demant, Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Program at Amnesty International USA sit down to talk to us about this commission’s most recent report and how it is harmful for global human rights.Support the show (
On September 18, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away from complications related to pancreatic cancer. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a fierce defender of justice for all. Leila Abolfazli, Director of Federal Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center sits down to talk to us about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and what’s at stake when it comes to our sexual and reproductive health and rights. Support the show (
A quick note that this episode was recorded before the heartbreaking death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In legislative sessions across the U.S. in the year of 2019, more than 300 anti-abortion bills were introduced and 58 restrictions were enacted. Some of these sexual and reproductive health-related laws will end up in front of the courts, meaning an individual’s right to abortion access in some states ends up in the hands of whatever judges preside in the court. Anisha Singh, Director of Judiciary and Democracy Affairs with Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPACT), sits down to talk with us about how our courts play a critical role in our sexual and reproductive health and rights.Support the show (
The COVID-19 pandemic is both exacerbating and laying bare the ways in which marginalized communities continue to be further marginalized when it comes to healthcare access. Specifically, women, people of color, and transgender folks are often underrepresented or completely excluded from clinical trial and vaccine development. Jamille Fields Allsbrook, Director of Women’s Health and Rights at the Center for American Progress sits down with us to discuss the ways in which disparities in representation lead to disparities in the development of clinical trials and vaccines. Support the show (
Currently in Alabama, the state does not have a mandate on teaching sexual education. Most of the information taught in schools is abstinence-only-based, medically inaccurate, and stigmatizing to LGBTQ+ students. There are also much higher rates of cervical cancer (a highly treatable and preventable disease) in Alabama, with Black women twice as likely to die of the disease as white women. Annerieke Smaak Daniel, a fellow in the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, joins us to talk with us about the status of comprehensive sex education is a state that is failing its young people. Support the show (
Reproductive health and rights and the health and rights of transgender individuals are issues that are both rooted in bodily autonomy and are both under attack. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, conservative lawmakers have been going out of their way to continue attacks on transgender and reproductive health and rights. Jessica Mason Pieklo, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor at Rewire.News and Katelyn Burns, political writer at, talk about how these intersectional attacks and are ultimately rooted in anti-science and bad-faith arguments. Support the show (
The Helms amendment is an amendment to the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act which states that U.S. government foreign assistance funds cannot be used for “the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.” The Helms amendment undermines U.S. efforts to improve maternal health and mortality by denying access to abortion services. Anu Kumar, President and CEO of IPAS, talks to us about how dangerous this 47-year-old amendment really is and why it has to go. Support the show (
This week’s podcast episode is a different format. Preston Mitchum, Director of Policy with Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE), sits down to share his experience of having recently been diagnosed with and recovering from COVID-19. Support the show (
Abortion access does not look the same for everyone in the United States. That’s because whether or not someone can access an abortion is often tied to factors like income, transportation, insurance coverage, ability to find childcare, and more. COVID-19 has highlighted the inequities in the U.S. system. Dr. Bhavik Kumar, Medical Director for Primary and Trans Care at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and National Medical Spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Federation of America sits down to talk with us about those inequities and how they span across the full spectrum of healthcare. Support the show (
On Wednesday, June 8th, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that institutions and employers are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, which requires employers to provide contraception coverage with no co-pay through insurance plans, as long as they have a religious or moral opposition. Mara Gandal-Powers, Director of Birth Control Access and Senior Counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, sits down to talk with us about the most recent birth control-related Supreme Court ruling and how this tramples the health and rights of many across the United States.Support the show (
This week, in a victory for abortion access, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June Medical Services v. Russo that Louisiana could not require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The ruling upholds an earlier Supreme Court decision, Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down a similar Texas law because it placed on undue burden upon those seeking abortion care. In this episode we talk with TJ Tu, co-lead counsel on June Medical with the Center for Reproductive Rights, all about what this decision means for abortion access. Support the show (
The Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath (APLO) is a provision that prevents foreign NGOs and international affiliates of U.S. organizations from using the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funds in a way that “promotes prostitution or sex trafficking” and they must have an explicit policy opposing prostitution and sex trafficking. Keifer Buckingham, Senior Policy Advisor with the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center sits down to talk with us about how the recent Supreme Court ruling that protects APLO is ultimately stigmatizing, discriminatory, and harmful to the goal of fighting HIV/AIDS. Support the show (
Sex Education shouldn’t solely be about anatomy, condom use, and STIs. It should also include education on consent, healthy relationships, and different sexual orientations and gender identities. Jennifer Driver, Vice President of Policy and Strategic Partnerships at SIECUS: Sex Ed For Social Change, sits down to talk with us about why positive LGBTQ+ representation and inclusive, medically-accurate information makes a huge difference in sex education courses.Support the show (
The Supreme Court this week ruled on a case in which they decided it was illegal to discriminate against LGBT people in employment situations under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The decision was ruled 6-3, and the majority opinion was penned by Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice John Roberts also joined the majority side. Katelyn Burns, political reporter covering general politics and LGBTQ issues at Vox, talks to us (and celebrates with us!) in this bonus podcast episode.Support the show (
The United Nations makes important decisions around a wide variety of issues including the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people around the world. Since the beginning of the Trump administration, the U.S. has been actively fighting against providing global sexual and reproductive health and rights. Shannon Kowalski, Director of Advocacy and Policy at the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), sits down to talk with us about how the U.S. has attempted to weaken reproductive health and rights around the world through their role at the UN.Support the show (
Title IX is an anti-discrimination law that protects students and employees in education environments. The rule is critical-- it ensures that schools respond appropriately to sexual harassment and assault against employees and students in educational institutions around the U.S. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has introduced a new rule that would essentially dismantle Title IX and have schools take steps to discourage students from reporting sexual harassment and assault on campus. Shiwali Patel with the National Women’s Law Center talks to us about this extremely harmful rule change and what it could mean for students across the country. Support the show (
While we’ve heard a lot about how COVID-19 is impacting our access to sexual and reproductive health here in the United States, the devastation to SRHR will be felt the world over. In fact, the progress that has been made in supplying women and girls in low- and middle-income countries with reproductive health services could be significantly rolled back as the pandemic continues. Zara Ahmed with the Guttmacher Institute sits down with us to talk about this world-wide change in access.Support the show (
On May 6th, the Supreme Court will hear a case regarding Trump administration rules that would allow virtually any employer or university with objections to contraception to exclude birth control from any employer-based or student health plans. Mara Gandal-Powers with the National Women’s Law Center sits down with us to talk about this landmark case and how we got here.Support the show (
In case you haven’t heard, states around the U.S. are taking advantage of the global pandemic in an effort to ban and severely limit access to abortion care. Governors and lawmakers in these states argue that abortion is a “non-essential” health service, and that hospital and clinic resources that are used to perform both procedural and medication abortion should be redirected toward COVID-19 relief. Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy with Rewire.News and the Boom! Lawyered podcast helps us break down this bogus argument. Support the show (
In case you missed it, states around the country are attempting to attack access to abortion by taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and manipulating the definition of “essential health services.” While abortion providers are under pressure due to maintaining the safety of staff and patients, handling state-by-state legislative attacks, and continuing to provide essential and time-sensitive health care, they face an additional, unnecessary stressor; anti-abortion protestors ignoring public health protocol and crowding the entrance of clinics. While abortion clinics are simply trying to provide reproductive health care during a turbulent time, anti-abortion protestors are blatantly disregarding the safety and health of others. We talk to Calla Hales, executive director of A Preferred Women’s Health Center, about clinic harassment before and during this unprecedented pandemic. Support the show (
18% of maternal deaths in Malawi are due to complications from unsafe abortion. Malawi also consistently fights against child marriage, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality. Emma Kaliya, director of the Malawi Human Rights Resource Center and Chair of the Coalition for Prevention of Unsafe Abortion in Malawi and Brian Ligomeka, head of the Center for Solutions Journalism, talk to us about the sexual and reproductive health and rights landscape in Malawi. Support the show (
Attacks on abortion access don’t just occur at the federal level— in fact, by the end of 2019, 25 abortion restrictions had been passed on state legislatures around the country. While some states are working overtime to limit reproductive health and rights, some are working just as hard to protect them. To address this divide on reproductive health and rights around the country, we sit down to talk with Sophia Kerby with the State Innovation Exchange.Support the show (
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Podcast Details

Created by
Jennie Wetter
Podcast Status
Dec 19th, 2017
Latest Episode
Nov 17th, 2020
Release Period
2 per month
Avg. Episode Length
35 minutes

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