ASSAULT ON WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS FOCUS OF TALK
“The Assault On Women’s Reproductive Rights & How to Fight Back” will be the subject of an afternoon with Nancy Cohen, author of “Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America” and Serena Josel, Director of Political Affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Journalist Anthea Raymond will moderate.
In the last year, America has been lashed by a wave of attacks on established reproductive rights, as those rights became a pawn in the presidential campaign – with unscrupulous candidates and their supporters vowing to end or otherwise encumber women’s hard won reproductive rights.
As the presidential campaign season moves into high gear, the attacks can be expected to escalate, and the rhetoric to grow even more heated, and uglier. Nancy Cohen has written a stunning account of the decades-long sexual counterrevolution — a fevered backlash against the sixties’ expansion of personal freedom, including sexual autonomy and expanded opportunities for women in their economic and political as well as personal lives.
Reproductive freedom has become a battleground, and the stakes are no less than the overall political direction of the United States. Serena Josel works on the front lines as the director of political affairs of the Los Angeles chapter of Planned Parenthood, a lightning rod for these attacks because of its steadfast commitment to protecting reproductive choice and providing reproductive health services.
Nancy Cohen has studied the roots and sources of the backlash against the freedom to conduct our personal lives as we see fit. She is an able interpreter of the murky processes by which those who felt threatened by the prospect of personal and sexual freedom have marshaled such anxieties into a profound and powerful political backlash. From the perspective of a trained historian, she explains how both major political parties have engaged with the energies unleashed by this backlash -– one riding it to increased power but ultimately held captive by it, and the other demonstrating repeated timidity in facing it down.
Serena Josel has a view of this clash from inside, as a spokesperson for an organization that has always stood at the forefront of the struggle to protect sexual health and reproductive choice and that finds itself embattled as never before.
Anthea Raymond, an accomplished print and broadcast journalist–former president of the Los Angeles Press Club and current editor of the Echo Park Patch, will guide a lively and provocative exploration of the present crisis for reproductive rights and how we can fight back to protect them. She will also moderate a segment with questions from the audience.
The discussion will be held Saturday, June 16th, from 2 to 4 p.m.
at the home of Jan Goodman & Jerry Manpearl, 939 San Vicente Boulevard.
$10 suggested donation. Free for students. Spread the word. RSVPs would be helpful, but are not required: firstname.lastname@example.org
rsvp email@example.com )
Light refreshments and stimulating discussion in a lovely outdoor setting (bring a jacket or sweater).
Nancy L. Cohen, a historian and political commentator and the author of three books, including Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America and The Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 1865-1914. She is a contributor to RollingStone.com and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, the Journal of Southern History, and elsewhere, and has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, PRI, SiriusXM, and CBC. Cohen holds a PhD in U.S. History from Columbia University and has been a visiting scholar at UCLA at the Center for the Study of Women and the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. She has served as a senior policy analyst at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), specializing in economic and environmental policy. www.nancylcohen.com
Serena Josel is the director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PP-LA), which serves the reproductive health care needs of over 120,000 clients, and also serves as deputy director of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles, which works to elect candidates and enact public policies that protect sexual health care and education. Since joining PP-LA, she has worked to defeat anti-choice ballot measures and protect women’s health in California, Alaska, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, and Mississippi. Josel earned a B.A. cum laude in politics at New York University. As a member of the board of the L.A. Westside chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus, she chairs the organization’s political action committee.
Anthea Raymond is an educator and journalist, with a particular interest in community and culture. She was the first senior editor at KPCC and is a former president of the Los Angeles Press Club. Raymond has taught at several institutions, including Hunter College, UCLA, USC, and Santa Monica College, and has won numerous awards for her work in television and radio. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley and degrees in law and business from UCLA.
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the League’s centerpiece lies in its efforts to expand participation and give voice to all Americans. The League has a longstanding commitment to reproductive rights, and several decades ago adopted the position that “public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.” www.lwvsantamonica.org
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive healthcare provider and advocate. It also works with partner organizations worldwide, providing sexual and reproductive health care, education, and information to nearly five million men, women, and adolescents around the globe each year. Nearly three million clients visit Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers annually in the United States, and one in five American women has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once. Planned Parenthood advocates for commonsense policies that foster the sexual and reproductive rights and health of individuals, families, and communities. www.plannedparenthood.org/los-angeles