Zine Library Highlight

Birth, Pregnancy, and Reproductive Justice Zines

Birth, Pregnancy, and Reproductive Justice Zines

In partnership with the Birth Justice Research Initiative, co-founded by Mount Allison University faculty members Krista Johnston and Christiana MacDougall, the Owens has expanded its Teeny Tiny Zine Library to include a special focus on birth, pregnancy, and reproductive justice.

Through writing, comics, poetry, collage and drawings, these new zines bring forward research and first-person accounts that consider pregnancy, birth and parenting. These publications also speak to the intersections of reproductive justice, bodily autonomy, contraception and abortion, midwifery, doula care, adoption, inclusive healthcare practices, queer experiences, and inequities in birth care.

Zines have long been an essential and accessible medium to share historical, personal, and practical information about reproductive justice. Often self-published and self-distributed, zines are an opportunity to create community connections, share unique experiences which might not be represented in the mainstream, and critique existing power structures and social norms.

This new collection of zines will be featured at the Birth Justice Research Initiative conference, Delivering Care happening at Mount Allison University 5-7 June 2024. The conference brings together birth care advocates, practitioners, and researchers to discuss birth care provision in the Atlantic provinces.

These zines complement the Reproductive Justice LibGuide at the Mount Allison University Library, forming a rich resource for faculty and students as well as our community.

The birth, pregnancy, and reproductive justice zines will be on view at the Owens staring Thursday 6 June, 2024.

Curated and Edited by Se’mana Thompson & María Teresa Carmier

Decolonizing P@renting was published first as a print zine and is now available in digital format. In the introduction, Se’mana Thompson writes, “Decolonizing P@renting isn’t just about parenting—it’s also personal journeys of healing from historical trauma, remembering, grieving, witnessing, storytelling, futurisms, creating and action.” This collection features first-person perspectives shared through short texts and poetry.

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edited by Sophie Ziegler

This zine is compilation of poems and writing reflecting diverse perspectives on Queer parenthood and parenting. The small size of this zine and its scrappy collage approach create an intimate space of sharing that is punctuated by a sweet “Kid Art Interlude”. This zine was edited by Sophie Ziegler (they/them), an archivist, oral historian, educator, and parent based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Sonali Menezes

Sonali Menezes is a Hamilton-based multidisciplinary artist and writer. In this zine she contemplates the difficult and personal question of whether to have a baby, based primarily on anxieties related to the climate crisis. To help make her decision, Sonali seeks out opinions from friends and family, and through their conversations she touches on feelings of grief but also joy and hopefulness related to having a baby “sometime in the future”.

edited by Daisy Salinas

Abortion bans have disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and people of color who have been on the frontlines for reproductive justice. Combining essays, interviews, visual art, speeches, poetry, resources, and a comic, No Ban on Stolen Land is a call to action to demand legal and accessible abortion, reclaim bodily autonomy, and build collective power toward the future of reproductive justice.

University of Minnesota Women’s Center

This collective zine was created by students, staff, faculty and alumni from the University of Minnesota is a response to the June 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, which ended the federal constitutional right to abortion in the United States. This collection of art, writing, and other creative responses speak to that moment of challenge and change in the world, while continuing to move toward a “reproductive justice future”.

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Jacks McNamara with animal drawings by Katy Medley

Jacks McNamara is a queer, trans, neurodivergent artist, writer, healer, organizer and educator who works at the intersection of healing and social justice. Their zine Animals, contemplates queer pregnancy and parenting through tender and poignant poems and writing that call for a world that is more caring and affirming of parents across the gender spectrum.

Thanks for Nothing Body; illustrations by Nicole Mazzeo of Pleasure Pie

This zine is a guide to caring for yourself in the weeks and months after giving birth. Taking a gender inclusive perspective this zine covers topics such as sleep, friends, and body image. Advice stems from the author’s own experience and the postpartum care they wish they received.

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Rhonda Wheeler Baker

Written by Rhonda Wheeler Baker, Zuzu and the Baby Catcher is a serialized zine that ran for eleven issues from 2002 to 2005. Through stories and illustration, the series chronicles the author’s life as a midwife and mother in Portland, Oregon.

Hannah .I. Walsh

Conceived as a three-zine series, Awoomon: The First Trimester reflects on the experience of non-binary gestation. Using the format of a journal, the author records the first twelve weeks of their pregnancy with thoughts about bringing a new person into the world. Shifting between poems and diary-like entries, the zine also includes drawings of pregnant half-human half-wolves

edited by Tomas Moniz

Rad Dad #23 explores the intersections of parenting and politics through wide-ranging contributions that reflect on what it means to build family. Topics include, “Patchwork Family”, “Parenting and Radical Engagement”, and “Keep Talking: Sex Positive Parenting”. Tomas Moniz is a Latinx writer living in Oakland, CA. He teaches at Berkeley City College and the Antioch MFA program and has been making zines for close to thirty years.

Jess Artiglier

Jess Artiglier is an artist and birth worker offering labour, birth, and postpartum support through intuitive and trauma-informed, anti-racist, and inclusive approaches. Their small zine is a pock sized resource of questions to ask your healthcare provider through all stages of pregnancy, but possibly for any other health-care related needs too.

Lauren Jade Martin

In this zine Lauren Jade Martin writes about reproductive rights in the United States, beyond abortion, to focus on issues of sterilization abuse, forced birth control, population control and other ways that policymakers have attempted to restrict reproductive freedoms.

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Pleasure Pie

With the goal of humanizing abortion rights, Abortion Saves Lives is an inclusive collection of first-person experiences of abortion interspersed with writing on reproductive justice topics. Pleasure Pie is a grassroots sexual justice organization based in Boston, MA who create zines and conversations on consent, sexual empowerment, and sexual rights.

Alexis Bussel

This zine speaks to the importance using gender-neutral and gender-inclusive terms related to reproduction and reproductive rights. Looking at discourse about the proposed use of the term “birthing parent” on legal documents in the United States, Alexis Bussel examines why this term is often criticized, their opinions on the necessity of gender-inclusive terminology, and resources for further reading.

Judith Arcana

Before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the U.S. in 1973, the Abortion Counseling Services of Women’s Liberation was a group of over one hundred women in Chicago who each anonymously answered to “Jane.” When the group started in 1969, even providing information about abortion was a criminal act. Jane’s role was to refer pregnant people to honest, safe, and reliable doctors and to provide them with empowering information, options, and agency in their own healthcare.

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The Doula Project

Through comics, drawings, personal essays, and games, DIY Doula offers practical and emotional support through abortion. Written by a collective of New York City based, full spectrum doulas, and volunteers of The Doula Project, this zine is filled with go-to ideas for self-care before, during, or after your procedure.

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Niagara Reproductive Justice

Created by Niagara Reproductive Justice, this zine fact checks common myths related to abortion in Canada and offers suggestions for responding to anti-choice activity. NRJ is a group of community members in the Niagara Region of Ontario advocating for increased visibility of and access to sexual health resources.

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In this deeply personal zine, Chava shares their experience with birth control and abortion because they feel there is “a piece of information missing about abortion in the conversation right now”. Chava considers abortion a form of mutual aid, and uses this zine to spread a shame-free message about safe and supported abortions as birth control.

Lilith Fund

The Lilith Fund’s abortion-positive colour book offers reminders of community care and resilience amongst food-related, botanically inspired, and superhero filled colouring pages. Read our copy, our print your own and start colouring at www.lilithfund.org/abortion-positive-coloring-book/

Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick

In May 2022 the members of the Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick created this zine to release frustrations and share hope related to reproductive justice in New Brunswick. This collective zine combines collage and writings as a way to find solidarity among their membership.

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edited by Rachel & CRG

hoax was created to question how feminism intersects with different aspects of our day-to-day lives. In this issue, contributors explore the topic of health, on personal and theoretical levels, touching on sex and gender, food and nutrition, illness, personal relationships to our bodies, issues of reproductive justice, and more.