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Songs in the Key of Choice: Pop Music and Reproductive Justice


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This story is part of a joint reporting project on reproductive rights in pop culture that includes Bitch Media, Feministing, and Making Contact. This work is part of a Media Consortium collaboration made possible in part by a grant from the Voqal Fund.


{Special 11 min. piece, not whole radio program}

One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime, yet in pop culture accurate portrayals of real people’s stories are rare. In this special interview, two reproductive justice advocates listen and discuss two songs: Nick Cannon’s ‘Can I Live?’ and Nicki Minaj’s ‘Autobiography’, and ask: what messages are pop songs sending about reproductive health issues?

Featuring:

  • Alicia Walters, Movement Building Director at Forward Together
  • Samara Azam-Yu, Executive Director at ACCESS Women’s Health Justice

Host, Producer: Jasmin Lopez

Editor: George Lavender

Social Media: Luna Olavarria Gallegos


Other Stories in this series

The Dramatic History of American Sex-Ed Films

Since that 1948 screening, private companies, political organizations, individuals, and government agencies have made thousands of sex-ed films and videos targeting elementary, middle school, and high school students. Sex education is arguably more closely tied to film than any other subject in public school. Whether students recall sex-ed class VHS tapes, filmstrips, or YouTube clips as being painfully corny discussions of dating or sincerely educational forays into the sticky bits of our biology, sex-ed films color our understanding of sexuality.   Read more.

Stories begetting stories: How pop culture reinforces abortion stigma—and can help end it

The ways that pop culture has reinforced abortion stigma extend beyond just the visibility—or lack thereof—of the choice. A recent census by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco—the first comprehensive, quantitative look at abortion storylines in TV and film—tallied over 300 plot lines in which a character considered an abortion between 1916 and 2013, including 87 on primetime network television. Given how common the procedure is in real life—not to mention how frequently totally uncommon things happen in Hollywood—that’s a small number, but it’s not nothing. Read more.

 

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