The subject of reproductive rights has taken center stage in our society. Still, many people don’t understand the tentacles those rights have in every corner of society or within most families. On this episode of About Your Mother is my conversation with writer and editor Elizabeth Hines, who spearheaded the recent anthology Aftermath: Life in Post-Roe America. Our discussion touches on motherhood, activism, and what it takes to bring important stories to the forefront.
Shocked and motivated by the Dobbs decision, Elizabeth Hines channeled her energy to gather essays and interviews from contributors to share the importance of reproductive rights in America. Here is our conversation.
Letting Voices Be Heard
The discussion begins with what inspired Elizabeth to put the anthology together. She found herself shocked and outraged when the decision leaked. Soon discovering she was not alone as friends and relatives voiced their disbelief and outrage about the judgment. Then, she had a calling and decided to serve as a vehicle for voices to be heard.
“It was really just my anger and outrage over what was, at the time, the leaked draft of Justice Alito and his opinion on the Dobbs case. Then I got emails and text messages from friends, who are also parents who were really just beside themselves with concern about what do we do now.”
– Elizabeth Hines
Making a Difference
Elizabeth knew that many people were incensed about this issue, even those who are high-profile and have a larger platform to voice their concerns. She also understood the importance of seizing the moment.
“I realized that I could do all of the text complaining and social media posting I wanted. But in the end, all of us are faced at a certain point with the question, what skills and tools do I have to actually make a difference? And one of the skills and tools I have as a writer is writing and bringing people together around the written word. And so I simply decided that what I was going to do was call on people I didn’t even know and just start putting together an anthology.”
– Elizabeth Hines
The Silence That Left Us Vulnerable
Contributors bravely share their stories connected to reproductive rights, as well as experiences that influenced their understanding of them. Whether it’s a health crisis, activism, health care work, political advocacy, and more, the anthology covers the varying degrees that reproductive rights touch people’s lives. However, so many of these stories remain private, known to few. As one contributor, Rebecca Traister, said, “Our silence left us vulnerable.”
Many women wish to be more vocal on important issues but need help knowing where to begin. How do they reach people outside their own circles? Elizabeth’s anthology breaks the familiar silence around the subject and gives the storytellers a platform. There are many brilliant contributors to the collection with varying accounts of reproductive experiences, and some might leave you shocked to understand how Dobbs affects so many lives.
and 31 more.
To hear more from Elizabeth Hines and her thoughts on post-Roe America, download and listen to this episode.
Elizabeth Hines is an author, editor, and strategic communications specialist. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications, and along with her mother, Carol Jenkins, she is the co-author of the best-selling biography, Black Titan: A. G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire, winner of a 2004 Non-Fiction Book Honor from the American Library Association.
Hines holds a BA from Yale College and conducted her graduate studies at Harvard University. She lives in New York City.