Headline: Protestors Say Tear Gas Caused Them to Get Multiple Periods in a Month
What? I’ve never heard of something like this.
Teen Vogue spoke to protestors who participated in protests over George Floyd’s death and the headline above is, unfortunately, the experience of one too many protesters. Some tweeted that despite having an IUD implant, they still bled. And trans people who take testosterone say they’re also experiencing their periods.
The meat of this article really lies in the issue of the reproductive health impacts of tear gas. As noted in the story, the Colorado Doula Project tweeted a warning to pregnant protesters about the impact tear gas has on pregnancies, with it being linked to higher rates of miscarriages and stillbirths.
Reproductive justice and gender equity attorney for the ACLU in Northern California Arneta Rogers spoke of the history of “coercive or experimental government involvement” in Black people’s reproductive health and her concerns over police use of tear gas on everyone protesting state violence against Black people, especially those pregnant or wish to become pregnant.
“The police continue to use it on Black Lives Matter protesters is particularly disturbing given the state’s record of forced sterilization, and long history of controlling bodies, sexuality and reproduction of Black women, femmes, trans, and nonbinary people.”
One protester and queer activist linked police tactics with the bigger picture telling Teen Vogue, “If it’s not slavery and prison, then it’s ‘how are we able to harm Black and Brown bodies in a way that intimidates and instills fear,’ so we stop, we stop fighting for our rights. Or we become so traumatized that we have to focus on healing instead of fighting.” They added, “that’s the most violent that you could get when you take away someone’s ability to produce and have children.”
Heartbreaking, sobering, disturbing, incredibly informative, and excellently written. Head over to Teen Vogue to read the story in its entirety.