Session Proposal: Nonnegotiable: Reproductive Sovereignty as One Key to Resilient Communities

[Proposal for biosphere(x) session]

Reproductive sovereignty is paramount to our freedom. This workshop will explore the knowledge lost surrounding reproductive care and planning, both ancestral and contemporary, the alienation of women from their bodies, and the implications of regaining this knowledge in our modern world. We will discuss how to create individual, localized, and decentralized birth control and reproductive health care that is safe, secure, and most importantly – outside state and institutionalized medicine. To demystify the practice, we will go over skills and potential methods that can be used by people who are compelled to take back control.


Liz thanks for the post and welcome to the community! This is such an important topic and one I know we’ll discuss more at Woodbine. Will be in touch about details!

Highly relevant, @liz_biospherex! I am curious: why do you speak of knowledge “lost”? The story most of us in my generation heard is that, before legalisation of birth control, all people had was folk remedies, unreliable at best and dangerous at worst. So, it is a story of knowledge “gained”. Can you elaborate?

Hello @liz_biospherex, sorry I missed your proposal, catching up on my reading about biosphere now :slight_smile:

Meet @natalia_skoczylas ! Earlier this year she penned the outstanding story of Poland’s underground abortions and how women collectives fight repressive legislation. Looking forward to meet you in Brussels.

A little backgroun: My own story and contribution to the opencare discussions and what it means to go backwards instead of forwards re: medical systems in an Eastern European country, is this one…

1 Like

Really looking forward to your presentation, and to exchanging about reproductive health initiatives in different places.

Notes from the session!

As with the movie Hypernormalisation by Adam Curtis, we will only begin to see all the systems at play in shaping our reality once we take a step back. In this session, we sought to reflect on the systems at play in our worlds that play a role in shaping our reproductive destiny. We noted how the ancient practice of choosing one’s reproductive destiny has become so foreign. Due to the multitude of entities invested (even only partially) in controlling a woman’s reproduction – pharmaceutical companies, local/state/national governments (laws!!), schools, religious bodies, culture, husbands, fathers, doctors, teachers, etc – it is a daunting task to seek autonomy. The interplay between doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and governments alone should make any one skeptical of the treatment they are receiving. But is there even an alternative? As a group, we reflected on our own infrastructure related to our reproductive health – do we trust the entities at play? For some, there are strict laws preventing abortion, for example. For others, the laws were more lenient but came with a list of caveats. Who can you trust and what are your options? Rather than fighting all of these powers at play, we realize we can arm ourselves with knowledge. Knowing our own bodies that we are typically so alienated from, is the first step towards sovereignty. We also must understand our own needs as individuals and as communities. We found commonalities between stories shared within the group (from around the world), but so much is different. Through the discussion we realized that the work must be done at a the hyper-local level because context matters. At the end of our discussion, GynePunks gave an inspirational preview to some of the tools they’ve created in order to take power over their bodies and reproductive sovereignty.