Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ariana Mercado on Reproductive Justice

Ariana Mercado is vice-president of the Women’s Leadership Project at Gardena High School. She is a passionate and vocal advocate for the prevention of teen pregnancy and decreasing the representations of hyper sexualized children in the media. Ariana is a junior at Gardena High School who plans to enroll in a pre-med program after graduation. Ariana was one of many participants at the recent WLP retreat sponsored by the L.A. County Human Relations Commission's zerohour program.

During the Thousand Pines retreat I took part in many workshops that were very helpful to me. The most memorable session, in my opinion, was the workshop on reproductive justice. Reproductive justice is an idea that takes into account all of the things that impact a woman’s reproductive choices. Abortion is part of reproductive justice but not the only health issue covered in reproductive justice. After watching a film explaining reproductive justice we spent time discussing our opinions on abortion. I learned a lot from this session because I had always been against abortion, but this session opened my eyes to a new perspective. I now think abortion doesn’t have to be wrong because it is a necessary option that all women must have available to them. There are many different reasons that can lead a woman to be in a situation where she is not prepared to have a baby and to take her choice away to decide the rest of her life is wrong. I greatly appreciate that WLP gave me the opportunity to experience something like this because it gave me new perspectives on issues that I’ve never had a chance to discuss with classmates or friends. I would love to be able to get to experience another retreat like this one again.

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