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ISSUE 44: May 2022

Editors’ Note

Dear Readers,

The Louisiana Legislature is in session and Lift Louisiana's Legislative Updates page can help you make sense of it. Tell your lawmakers what you think about bills related to abortion and contraception access, menstrual equity, pregnant and parenting students, and more. See Doris Cai's spotlight article below for a deeper look at two bills that would increase access to human milk for Louisiana's babies.

You can also find the latest news, events, and opportunities related to reproductive rights, health, and justice by scrolling down!


Kelsey Lain, School of Science and Engineering, Class of 2023
Clare Daniel, Ph.D., Newcomb Institute, Tulane University
Aliyah Daniels, ReproNews co-founder, Class of 2018


HB 650 &  HB 651: Increasing Access to Donor Milk in Louisiana 
Doris Cai, School of Science & Engineering, ‘22

Saul’s Light is currently working with Representative Stephanie Hilferty to pass HB 650 and 651, bills to provide Medicaid and private insurance coverage for prescription donor human milk. On April 19, the bills received a favorable pass in the House Insurance and Health and Welfare Committees. The bills will be heard next in the House Appropriations Committee.  

Human milk is a medical necessity for many babies, but many families cannot access this medicine due to a lack of insurance coverage. Currently in Louisiana, donor human milk is only covered under Medicaid for inpatient use. HB 650 will provide Medicaid outpatient coverage for donor milk, and HB 651 will provide private insurance coverage in inpatient and outpatient settings.  

Human milk supplies important nutrients and disease-fighting factors for babies. This is vital for premature, low birthweight, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) babies. These babies have weaker immune systems, higher risk for life-threatening diseases, and their mothers often do not make enough milk on their own. Access to donor milk is extremely important in Louisiana, where we have some of the worst birth outcomes in the country. In 2020, 12.9% of live births (7395 babies) in Louisiana were preterm births. Louisiana also had 10.9% low birthweight babies (6,250 babies) and 1.9% very low birthweight babies (1,080 babies). 

Lack of access to donor human milk often leads to formula feeding, which is associated with worse health outcomes for babies, both in the short and long term. This includes a 250% higher risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract disease in the first year of life, 56% higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, 75% higher risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in very low birth weight infants, and higher risk for chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood obesity. For families lacking access to donor human milk, some will turn to informal direct milk sharing. This is unsafe because it is not regulated like pasteurized donor human milk from a milk bank and exposes babies to risks of bacterial contamination and viral transmission. 

Access to donor human milk is an equity issue. Low-income families and families of color have the highest risk for preterm birth, low birth-weight babies, NEC, infant mortality, and long-term morbidity. However, they are the least likely to have access to human milk. They are more likely to be treated in safety-net hospitals, which are less likely to use donor milk at all or until the recommended 34 weeks because it is not covered by insurance and their budgets are stretched very thin. 

It is vital that HB 650 and 651 pass in this legislative session in order to increase access to essential human milk and improve the health outcomes and survival of Louisiana’s babies. You can help by contacting your local representatives to urge them to support these bills and spreading the word! For more info on how to get involved, feel free to follow Saul’s Light on Instagram or email  


What You Need to Know About Birth Models (Birth What?) [Podcast]
"Medical anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd talks with Adriana about the technocratic, humanistic and holistic birth models. She explains why we’ve gotten so obsessed with machines and numbers, why we need more midwives, how some OBs are making positive change by embracing the midwifery model of care, and what you can take from those models to improve your experience."
HSA-AIM CCI Racial Equity Learning Series (RELS)
"Recent maternal mortality data released by the CDC in February show that maternal deaths in the U.S. increased from 754 to 861 deaths per year.  The death rate among non-Hispanic Black women remains 3 times the rate of White women. Inequitable treatment during pregnancy and the postpartum period is a significant factor in this tragic disparity, and racism is at the root of such inequity.   

In 2019, the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) entered into a cooperative agreement with HRSA to pilot the Alliance for Maternal Health Community Care Initiative (AIM CCI), which seeks to develop non-hospital Maternal Safety Bundles (MSB) that are inculcated in equity and applicable in outpatient clinical and community-based settings to prevent severe maternal morbidity and mortality.  At NHSA-AIM CCI we strive for a health care system that is truly equitable, where racial identity holds no influence on maternal health outcomes. To that end, we are excited to announce the launch of our newly developed professional learning series to address racism’s impact on maternal health and beyond, the Racial Equity Learning Series (RELS). 

We hope that you will find RELS a useful resource, applicable to individuals and organizational teams, to deepen your understanding of the devastating effects of racism and explore strategies to combat racism from the waiting room to the board room, and beyond. "
Spring 2022 Election Infographic by VAYLA
Orleans parish voting is open from April 16 - April 30. Click the link above for further information!
Louisiana Survivors for Reform
"Louisiana Survivors for Reform (LSR) is a coalition of crime survivors, homicide victims’ families, and organizations creating change in the criminal justice system. We are a group with a multitude of identities, and backgrounds united in the conviction that any approach to reform needs to include the voices of crime survivors and others directly impacted by the current system. Since 2018, LSR has been organizing through policy, education, and community. We believe that too often, victims are silenced or ignored, and we recognize that harm and healing exist on a continuum. We believe the voice of every survivor should be heard and that the primary focus of reform should be supporting all impacted individuals and communities, investment in crime prevention strategies, and restorative justice that is trauma-informed. To get involved or learn more please email and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!"
Louisiana's Alternatives to Abortion Initiative Report 2022
"This report outlines the development and public funding of Louisiana’s Alternatives to Abortion Initiative, administered by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), which diverts public dollars away from families in need and into this program.

Each year, Louisiana funnels more than a million taxpayer dollars to anti-abortion pregnancy centers that do not directly provide medical services. Rather, these centers push inaccurate medical information and religious content using tax dollars. There is no oversight of this program, no accountability for the contractors and subcontractors, and no reporting that indicates this program is meeting the goals of the state or federal programs that are providing the funding. Since 2011, Louisiana has awarded at least $11,324,953 in grants through this program.

Through public records requests, Lift Louisiana received contracts and financial reports submitted to DCFS from July 2017 to June 2018 as well as information about the amount of funding contractors and subcontractors have received from 2011-2018." Click this link to send a letter to legislators to stop funding for fake clinics.

IWES Black Women First Leadership Council
"IWES was selected to participate in a national study that focuses on improving care for cis and trans Black women living with HIV. We're searching for a team of community members, those with lived experiences and other leaders, who represent cis and trans Black women living with HIV Greater New Orleans. Perks of council membership include professional training opportunities, leadership development, professional headshots, and meals during meetings."
Abortion Stories From Elders
'Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!) is establishing the first formal national abortion storytelling program for people who had abortions in the United States during the pre-Roe years through 1980. Our first cohort of trained and supported abortion storytellers will launch this May in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. At a time when anti-abortion politicians are in positions of power to roll back rights and access, it is crucial that elders speak up loudly and move in alignment with current demands for abortion justice. No matter where someone lives, how much money they have, or their background—everyone needs access to abortion on their terms, without barriers or stigma. Insight to Incite Storytellers make public what we were told to keep secret. In doing so, we affirm the dignity and autonomy of younger generations, as well as our younger selves." Please complete this form by May 1st if you're interested in joining!
Community Listening Sessions
"We are holding a series of listening sessions in Greater New Orleans in partnership with Humana and The Amandla Group. The content of these conversations will inform the direction of the Steering Committee, as well as the strategies and solutions of the workgroups. Participants will receive a $50 gift card for their participation. Share widely and email if interested!"
"Feminist Majority and LIFT Louisiana are reigniting the #MyLASexEd campaign to address the abysmal state of sex education in Louisiana. The campaign is focused on youth storytelling about their sex ed experience and sharing sexual health information. Student organizers will spread the word about the campaign in their communities and we will have a social media campaign to help educate people about the laws surrounding sex education.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! We are hiring #MyLASexEd Campaign Campus Ambassadors for the spring semester to collect stories on their campus and organize around sex education. We will be choosing soon so please submit the application as soon as possible. Apply Now!

For more information contact Gabby at"

Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health 
Click the link above to follow TulaneMCH and stay up to date on local legislation, jobs, and new research concerning maternal and child health.
Student Standup
"Interested in speaking about your experience in reproductive rights, sexual education, the arts, and/or advocacy? Volunteer for a short interview with Creative Community League to discuss how you, or an organization you've worked with, have engaged with these topics."
“Real decision-making is hard to find” - Swiss perinatal care providers’ perceptions of and attitudes towards decision-making in birth: A qualitative study, SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, December 2022

Experiences seeking, sourcing, and using abortion pills at home in the United States through an online telemedicine service, SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, December 2022

Louisiana was nearly a success story for the number of babies with syphilis. Then came COVID.,, April 25, 2022

COVID pandemic creates setbacks for HIV care in Louisiana, Louisiana Illuminator, April 19, 2022

As pandemic surged, so did chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in Louisiana,, April 15, 2022

Tulane’s Right to Life club holds anti-abortion demonstration, Tulane Hullaballoo, April 14, 2022

National and International

These Laws Are Making Miscarriage More Traumatic in America, New York Times, April 27, 2022

Texas Woman Lizelle Herrera’s Arrest Foreshadows Post-Roe Future, Ms. Magazine, April 16, 2022

Five myths about the child welfare system, Washington Post, April 15, 2022

Where Are Abortions Rights in Danger in the US?, The Skimm, April 14, 2022

As anti-abortion laws pop up across the US, Mexican activists are helping Americans access free abortions, Insider, April 12, 2022 

Black Mothers Are Dying. The Least We Can Do Is Listen to Their Stories, The Nation, April 12, 2022

To Be Pro-Choice, You Must Have the Privilege of Having Choices, New York Times, April 11, 2022

Texas Woman, 26, Charged with Murder for Alleged Self-Induced Abortion, Jezebel, April 9, 2022

A Covert Network of Activist is Preparing for the End of Roe, The Atlantic, April 4, 2022

Online Abortion Care Provider Hanna Kim of Hey Jane: ‘Everything Is Done in Your Own Time’, Ms., April 4, 2022

The Nomination Black Women Have Been Waiting For, The Nation, April 1, 2022



Women on Wednesday
LIFT Louisiana & 10,000 Women Louisiana
Baton Rouge, LA
May 4, 2022

"Women on Wednesday is a series of forums by 10,000 Women and Lift Louisiana to educate the public about issues and mobilize them to pressure lawmakers to prioritize policies that will improve the health and economic security of women and families. We will be inviting lawmakers and local experts to join us to talk about the policies they are promoting to address these issues. Each session will also include training on how to influence the legislative process.Lunch will be provided!"
CROWN Act Training for Allies w/ Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom & Citizen SHE United
Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom & Citizens SHE United
May 5, 2022

"Hair discrimination is an undue burden that polices Black identity and upholds white supremacy. With no explicit nationwide legal protections against race-based hair discrimination, Black people are often left to risk facing consequences at school or work for their natural hair or invest time and money to conform to Eurocentric professionalism and beauty standards.  The impact of hair discrimination cannot be overstated. Policies that criminalize natural hair have been used to justify the removal of Black children from classrooms, and adults from their employment. The way a person wears their hair is about self-expression and for many may be woven into their identity and a celebration of their heritage. Black hair has been unjustly policed everywhere, from offices to classrooms, for decades.

The CROWN Act is not just about hair and it is not a cosmetic issue. It goes deeper than that. It is about cultural identity and bodily autonomy. It is about economic justice and public and environmental health. This year the CROWN Act was filed as House Bill 41 by Rep. Candace Newell.

So, how can non-Black allies show up in SUPPORT of legislation that centers and protects Black women? Join us for this training to learn. 1.0 hour Social Work Clinical Credit approved. Questions? Contact"


Creative Community League
10am CST, Thursday

"Produced and hosted by Amy Irvin, ProFrequency is a weekly radio program that covers culture, reproductive and sexual health, and other feminist issues, utilizing recorded stories and live interviews with local advocates and artists. Co-host Amanda Sanfilippo (aka Dj Vjj) is a local sex educator who answers all your most burning sexual health questions. Join Creative Community League for ProFrequency at 10am CT on Thursdays on 102.3 WHIV FM New Orleans. Or stream it from For further info, follow the CCL on Instagram at @creativecommunityleague"

Upcoming National/Regional

Food and Reproduction: an online symposium
Reproductive Sociology Research Group
May 4 - 5, 2022

"Join us for a two-day online symposium where we will explore how food can be thought of as “reproductive substance. How can we think about the role of food in reproduction, childcare and parenting? Which meanings are attributed to food in discussions of fertility, pregnancy or childfeeding? And what can we learn from these discourses about gender, race or class? In this symposium, we will bring into conversation insights from reproduction, parenting, food and environmental studies to explore how food is articulated with reproduction, from fertility to parenting."
From Scarcity to Sisterhood
Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University, Leicester
4:00 - 6:00pm CDT, May 10, 2022

"In this webinar we present an overview of the study and our findings via a series of short talks from the EDNA study team. Taking the UK, Belgium and Spain as cases, we illustrate how national donation ‘regimes’ produce complex entanglements of national policy, supranational regulation, cultural preferences and commercial priorities. We hope the event and our findings will stimulate debate about how reproductive technologies become inscribed into socio-technical cultures in different national contexts and the related implications for policy and practice.

All welcome. The event is free to attend, but pre-booking is required. Please book your place by Friday 6th May. A full programme with timings will be circulated in due course. For more information please contact CRR@DMU.AC.UK"

Let's Talk About Sex
SisterSong & AfiyaCenter
August 25 - 28, 2022

"Let's Talk About Sex! is the largest Reproductive Justice conference in the nation. This year we will feature panelists, speakers, activists, entertainers, and leaders throughout various social justice movements and across sectors who unapologetically stand up for our reproductive and sexual freedom. 

LTAS 2022 will begin on August 24th with pre-conference institutes  - invitation only. And our official programming will begin on August 25th and conclude on August 28th. Our intentionally curated workshops, plenaries, keynotes and events will inform, educate, tantalize, and inspire us to take action!

The 2022 Let’s Talk About Sex National Reproductive Justice Conference is for everyone and will be full of many firsts.  It's our first hybrid (virtual and in-person) conference; our first conference in Texas; and our first conference to strategically align RJ with our other social justice movements in order to build our collective power.  

SisterSong’s mission is to center the needs, experiences and leadership of communities and individuals who have been historically pushed to the margins. Our in-person convening will prioritize the attendance of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, gender non-conforming, those living with disabilities, and youth leaders. This critical moment in our movement demands it. We are investing in a meaningful virtual experience that will anchor our wider constituencies from across the country. Thank you in advance for allowing our in person gathering to focus on the most affected. "

See all events on the Tulane Reproductive Justice Calendar. This calendar is maintained by Kelsey Lain (Tulane School of Liberal Arts ‘23), so please email her your event information at
*We have recently changed the Repronews Job Board. Click here to give anonymous feedback on the new format.
Students United for Reproductive Justice, Newcomb Institute, Tulane University undergraduates
Students for Sexual Health Equity, Tulane University School of Public Health
Social Workers United for Reproductive Freedom, Tulane University School of Social Work
Medical Students for Choice, Tulane University Medical School
If/When/How, Tulane University Law School
Newcomb’s reproductive rights/health/justice-related activities are supported by the Donna and Richard Esteves Fund for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health, the Bonnie and William Chapman Fund for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health, and the M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation. Read about what our Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Interns are up to!

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Newcomb Institute of Tulane University · 43 Newcomb Place, Suite 301 · New Orleans, LA 70118-5558 · USA