Participant Experience Examples
Beyond the Vessel strives to be inclusive of all experiences as they relate to reproductive stigma and oppression (see a list of examples below) and anyone who chooses to participate may express their personal beliefs to the artist privately and while recording their video vignette. However, it is important to note that the project as a whole will reflect the pro-choice, intersectional, and feminist views of the artist.
Additionally, the stories of historically and presently oppressed people will take priority in this work. Although people with any background may inquire about participation, the reproductive healthcare experiences of people of color, Native people, immigrant and refugees, low-income people, young people, people with disabilities, LGBQ+, transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people are strongly welcome. If you have questions about participating or would like to know if your experience is a good fit, please send an email to Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contraception and Abortion
• Facing barriers to obtain an elective abortion (government-mandated waiting periods, long-distance travel, financial difficulty, parental notice requirements, etc.).
• Experiencing internalized or external stigma for choosing to terminate a pregnancy.
• Being denied birth control (short term, long term, or permanent sterilization) or misoprostol by a healthcare provider or pharmacist.
• Being forced or coerced into permanent sterilization (since this was more common in previous generations, a participant could also share the story of a family member or loved one who was involuntarily sterilized if that person has passed).
Pregnancy, Birthing & Parenthood
• Being forced to deliver an unviable pregnancy due to hospital or government policy.
• Experiencing pregnancy-related complications that altered the birthing plan.
• Mistakenly visiting a fake pregnancy clinic and receiving biased or misleading information.
• Facing maternal mortality or a nearly fatal pregnancy (the storyteller in this scenario could be a spouse, child or family member if that person passed in childbirth).
• Being pregnant and/or giving birth while incarcerated or detained.
• Carrying a pregnancy as a trans masculine or gender non-conforming person.
• Experiencing trauma related to pregnancy, giving birth or parenthood.
• Having a natural or medically assisted miscarriage.
• Experiencing postpartum depression.
• Becoming pregnant as a teenager or at an advanced age.
• Regretting or questioning the decision to have a child/children.
• Choosing to become pregnant as a single parent.
• Experiencing stigma while pregnant as a queer couple.
Uterine Diseases & Conditions
• Including but not limited to: endometriosis, adenomyosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) hormonal imbalances, infertility, etc.
HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS & BIRTHWORKERS
• Abortion care providers.
• Abortion clinic managers or executive staff.
• Full-spectrum doulas, midwives or birthworkers.
• Herbalists who have knowledge of plants with contraceptive and abortifacient properties that grow natively in their state.
LEGAL EXPERTS & RESEARCHERS
• Attorneys who have been involved in cases that defend reproductive rights.
• Academic or institutional researchers who focus on past or present state of reproductive healthcare.
• Policymakers who are working to pass pro-choice legislation or prevent anti-choice legislation from becoming law.
ADVOCATES & ORGANIZERS
• This can include a wide range of experiences and expertise that relates directly or indirectly to reproductive healthcare and access. If you are working as an advocate or organizer and would like to get involved with Beyond the Vessel, please send an email with more information.