Often, when I tell people about how I organize around reproductive rights and the environment, they don’t get it. People just don’t see the connection. It gets even murkier when I start prodding them to ditch their toxic shampoo to support choice, or to sign a petition for Planned Parenthood about BPA.
So what IS the connection? Its simple: toxins in your shower products, cosmetics, plastics, and food products can take away your choice. Choice doesn’t just mean the right not to have a child, but also your right to be able to have one if you do choose to. These toxic chemicals directly impact that choice by hindering fertility, and your ability to conceive if you do want children.
In the United States, the toxins we put into our products not only adversely impact the environment but also our own bodies. According to The Guttmacher Institute, 2000 new chemicals are introduced in products each year and very few are well researched for potential negative side effects. We simply do not yet know how they may impact us. What we do know is that common toxins such as BPA, parabens, and phthalates can lead to sexual dysfunction, infertility, early puberty, and other health problems. In all likelihood, many of these 2000 new chemicals have similar impacts on our bodies. That means that these toxins can take away your ability to have a child when and if you choose to do so. This means they take away your choice.
Now is the time to do something about it. Tell Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act and start regulating the chemicals in our products. Check out the products you use on the Skin Deep Database, a website that will tell you whether or not your products are toxic or not. If they are, try making your own or switching to something healthier! It may not be as convenient, but your health will thank you for it!
Want to learn more? Check out my second blog Sustainable Sex here and take a look at the resource section for more ways to learn and get involved in these issues.
You can also head on over to the Reproductive Health and Technologies Toxic Zombie page where you can find an online toolkit to get involved with these issues. This kit has printable posters, event ideas, a social media guide, and even ways you can green your dorm room!
Happy Earth Day!