Archive for the ‘NLIRH in the News’ Category

On May 20, 2010, the Ms. Foundation for Women honored NLIRH Executive Director Silvia Henriquez as one of three “2010 Women of Vision” awardees at its annual Gloria Awards. The “Women of Vision” award celebrates grassroots women activists and philanthropists whose achievements bring us closer to our vision of a just and inclusive democracy.  Feminist icon, Gloria Steinem presented the award to Silvia.  Take a look at a video, produced by the Ms. Foundation, that highlights some of the critical reproductive justice work NLIRH has accomplished under Silvia’s leadership.



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NLIRH Executive Director Silvia Henriquez is being honored by the Ms. Foundation for Women with a Women of Vision award. Below is a message from the staff and board of NLIRH. Congrats Silvia!

We are thrilled to announce that the Ms. Foundation will be honoring NLIRH Executive Director Silvia Henriquez as one of three “2010 Women of Vision” awardees at its annual Gloria Awards. The “Women of Vision” award celebrates grassroots women activists and philanthropists whose achievements bring us closer to our vision of a just and inclusive democracy.

Under Silvia’s leadership, NLIRH has become one of the organizations on the forefront of the reproductive health and justice movements for Latinas and immigrants.

Throughout the recent health care reform debates, NLIRH was one of the few organizations to openly demand full health care access, including abortion coverage, for all women and immigrants. We organized local advocates for outreach to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, headlined a national abortion rights lobby day in Washington, D.C., and solidified relationships with immigration rights coalitions to build support for upcoming reforms that recognize the reproductive health and rights of all women immigrants.

The Award Ceremony honoring Silvia’s leadership is being held on May 20th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City. To learn more about the event and to purchase tickets, visit this website.

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Latina Institute has updated our website in honor of our 15th anniversary. Check it out for expanded content, an updated design and new features!

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Executive Director Silvia Henriquez has an article up at the Huffington Post today:

Are the nation’s efforts to curb Latina teen pregnancy actually making young Latinas more vulnerable?

Myths — rather than realities — have too often guided the public discourse about Latinas and pregnancy. Latina teens don’t have sex more often than their white counterparts and most desire a college education. In addition, despite the demonization of immigrants in recent health care debates, most Latina teen moms are not immigrants. So what is underneath the startling pregnancy statistics?

Compared to white teens, Latina teens have higher pregnancy rates because they use birth control much less often and reject abortion much more often. Religion and family influence are very important factors, but for sexually active Latina teens these are not the only or even most relevant obstacles to birth control usage. For many Latinas, the top barriers to birth control usage are much more mundane: transportation, lack of health insurance or cash for health services, confusing and intimidating immigration regulation for households with a combination of citizens and non-citizens, and lack of guidance about available services. When teen pregnancy prevention programs and messages ignore these obstacles, Latinas become distanced from sex education efforts.

Read the rest here.

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NLIRH Executive Director Silvia Henriquez was quoted alongside a number of prominent experts in the wake of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation as the first Latina Supreme Court Justice.

The Senate confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor heralds a new era of diversity in our courts. Judge Sotomayor offers inspiration for Latinas as her confirmation has challenged stereotypes and demonstrated the growing political power of the Latino community, said Silvia Henriquez, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH). Judge Sotomayor will play a pivotal role in promoting the dignity and well being of our families and our communities. Her confirmation signals hope for not only expanded legal access to abortion but also for expanded social access to the full range of reproductive health care, such as health care funding for poor women. Judge Sotomayors body of work and judicial philosophy reveals a sophisticated analysis of social issues and the important role of the court in safeguarding human dignities.

Sotomayor’s historic appointment to the Supreme Court is symbolic of a new era of Latina power and empowerment. On the week that Judge Sotomayor begins her new role as Supreme Court Justice, NLIRH will host a national ‘Quinceañera’ gala. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to draw on the experiences of our roots, to raise our voices for reproductive justice, and to celebrate our power to create social change for Latinas in the years ahead!

To read the full piece in the Orlando Sentinel, please click here.

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From Hispanic Magazine, June/July 2009, “The New Mommy

A record number of unmarried women in the United States are having babies, and the rate is highest among Hispanic women, according to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics. Nearly four in 10 births in the U.S. were to unmarried women in 2007, an increase of 26 percent from 2002. In raw numbers, that means about 1.7 million children were born to unwed mothers in 2007, compared to 1.26 million in 2002 and fewer than 400,000 in 1970.

The report showed there were 106 births to every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women, compared to 32 births per 1,000 white non-Hispanic women. The lowest proportion of unmarried births was to Asian women, while blacks fell in the middle, with 72 births per 1,000 women.

With the stigma of unwed motherhood clearly on the decline, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, deputy director of the National Latina Health Institute, noted it is important not to present single motherhood as a problem. “Women have the right to have children whenever they think this is appropriate for their unique, individual circumstances, whether they’re married or not,” Gonzalez-Rojas says. Most critical is “to have social systems in place that support their decision.”

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NLIRH Executive Director Silvia Henriquez discusses Sotomayor, Roe v. Wade and Latinos’ diverse views on abortion in an op-ed featured in New American Media.

The wide diversity of Latino attitudes on abortion tells us that Judge Sotomayor’s ethnicity does not determine her position on Roe v. Wade. What we do know is that even though Judge Sotomayor’s experience and record have not directly dealt with protecting a woman’s right to choose, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice, fidelity to legal precedent and utmost respect for the law throughout her career. In her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, she made clear that her future decisions would be bound by legal precedent and clearly articulated her respect for the law established in Roe v. Wade. Judge Sotomayor’s statements were extremely promising indicators of her commitment to women’s reproductive rights.

Read the full piece at New American Media.

By Maria Elena Perez, Director of Community Mobilization

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