Young Feminist Conference 2019

Cause the Effect Chicago’s Young Feminist Conference

Exploring topics of intersectional feminism, empowerment and activism

November 9, 2019

Break-out session option 1: #BeLikeIllinois: Reproductive Health Activism in IL – More than Abortion Choice

There are unprecedented attacks on reproductive health care access occurring in the U.S.; from the rolling back of the Affordable Care Act, birth control mandates, to some state’s implementation of 6 week abortion bans, to the proliferation of fake Crisis Pregnancy Centers. In this workshop, you will get an introduction to Reproductive Justice which places reproductive rights and health in a broader intersectional social justice framework. Learn what organizations and state legislators are doing to ensure Illinois remains a safe beacon for abortion and comprehensive reproductive health care. We will give you the tools to take concrete actions and provide practical support to current reproductive justice and sexual health/rights issues.

Presented by: 
Megan Jeyifo, Chicago Abortion Fund
Qudsiyyah Shariyf, Chicago Abortion Fund
Annie Williams, Illinois Handmaids
Megan McCullough, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action

In partnership with: 
Maureen Keane, She Votes Illinois


About us: The mission of the Chicago Abortion Fund is to advance reproductive autonomy and justice for everyone by providing financial, logistical, and emotional support to people seeking abortion services and by building collective power and fostering partnerships for political and cultural change. We envision a world where everyone has the freedom and autonomy to create lives, families, and communities that are healthy, safe, and thriving and where the full range of reproductive choices, including abortion, are accessible and affirmed.

What we do: CAF provides direct services through financial, logistical, and emotional support to people seeking abortion care in Illinois and across the country. We advocate and build power to influence the development and implementation of policies impacting abortion access, as well as other aspects of reproductive justice. Through political education and leadership development opportuntiites, CAF volunteers and staff seek to shift damaging culture around abortion, smash stigma, and foster empathy and compassion.  

Ways you can get involved & support CAF

  • Spread the word about our work & the importance of abortion access
  • Donate items for care packages
  • Host a fundraiser
  • Form a team and fundraise for our Annual Bowl-A-Thon in April


About us: Dressed in distinctive red capes and white bonnets of the characters from The Handmaid’s Tale, we gather to silently protest the attacks on reproductive rights.

What we do: Creating awareness for the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), which provides that every individual has a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one’s own reproductive health.

Ways you can get involved and support Illinois Handmaids: 

For more information, please contact Annie Williams | | 773-484-3699

About us: Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is an independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)4 not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood in Illinois.

What we do: PPIA engages in educational and electoral activity including public education campaigns, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy on behalf of commonsense policies that protect and foster the sexual and reproductive health and rights of individuals, families, and communities.

Ways you can get involved and support PPIA: 

  • Text PROTECTX to 22422 to learn how to help protect Planned Parenthood
  • Download Planned Parenthood’s digital swag kit to show your support of Title X.

About us: She Votes Illinois is a statewide political action committee aimed at highlighting the importance of women’s voices in elections, government, and policymaking. Our work focuses on three things: voting, education, and getting more women involved in politics. We are a grassroots team of Illinois women working to engage a new wave of voters, community members, activists, and politicians.

What we do: We work to make sure all women can vote in every state and local election. We work to ensure our elected officials and candidates for office understand the issues most important to Illinois women, and we help our elected officials create and enforce policies that uplift us all. We work to support women entering into state and local politics­—whether that be by running for office, working on campaigns, lobbying for women’s rights, or through political activism.

Ways you can get involved and support SVI: 



Call, email or write your IL State Representative and your IL State Senator today to support these 3 bills.

PNA – Parental Notification of Abortion (SB1594)
Repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995. Legislation mandating parental involvement does not promote family communication, but does increase the risk of harm to our youth by delaying access to medical care.  

The Ensuring Success in Schools Law (SB449)
Requires that students who are pregnant, parenting, or expecting to parent, as well as students who have survived gender-based violence are appropriately accommodated at school. We need to ensure those who choose to parent can succeed.

Doula Services (HB4)
Provides that doula services shall be covered under the medical assistance program. It is vital that we make programs available to all in order to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Illinois, especially for Black moms.

TRUST YOUTH campaign to repeal PNA led by Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.

PROTECT X: Title X and the Gag Rule

What’s Title X? (pronounced “Title Ten”): Established in 1970, the Title X program provides affordable birth control and reproductive health care to people with low incomes, including those who couldn’t otherwise afford health care services on their own. The program has received bipartisan support from Congress since its inception.

What’s the Gag Rule?: The administration has issued a “gag rule” that bans doctors in the Title X program across the country from telling women how they can safely and legally access abortion. It would make it impossible for patients in the program to get birth control at places like Planned Parenthood, and it prohibits doctors from giving women full information about all of their sexual and reproductive health care options. The rule puts health care at risk for 4 million patients — 40 percent of whom get their care at Planned Parenthood.

Title X Fact Sheet

For more information and to take action, visit


Witness slips are a quick way to make your voice heard in state government. Before a bill is heard, the chairperson will read who has submitted witness slips and whether they support or oppose the bill, which helps legislators make informed decisions when voting.  


ACLU Illinois Judicial Bypass Coordinator Project 
Information and assistance for young people seeking judicial bypass in order to access abortion care.

Chicago Birth Workers of Color
A grassroot collective of birth workers of color providing full spectrum services throughout the Chicagoland area to support communities of color in their birthing and reproductive choices through our ancestral wisdom and birthright.

Chicago Volunteer Doulas
A birth justice organization providing comprehensive doula support for vulnerable communities in Chicagoland.

Howard Brown Health Center on Halsted 
Provides health care to the LGBTQ community and it’s allies.

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health 
Empowered youth and adult accomplices advocating for school, family and health care systems to support the sexual health, rights, and identities of youth.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
A movement for social, political, and structural change for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls.


Titles from Sekile Nzinga-Johnson’s Race, Class & Reproduction Seminar & Art by Lindsay Budzynski

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty
Dorothy E. Roberts

Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines
Edited by Mai’a Williams, Alexis Pauline Gumbs + China Martens

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
Edited by Cherríe Moraga + Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Race, Class, & Gender: An Anthology
Edited by Margaret L. Andersen

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements
Edited by adrienne maree brown + Walida Imarisha