On the Front Lines of Red State Reproductive Justice

YES MA’AM Series
Laurie Bertram Roberts, Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund
YES MA’AM is a new Deep South Voice feature spotlighting women-identified activists in Mississippi. Join the conversation online with #YESMAAM.

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Call Laurie Bertram Roberts an activist, and within minutes of speaking with her, the word feels completely inadequate. As the Founder and Executive Director of the Jackson-based Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, Laurie is nothing short of a warrior goddess on the front lines of red state Reproductive Justice.
The Fund has recently leveled up with the purchase of a house in the Washington Addition area of west Jackson. The house, once renovated, will become the home of Mississippi’s first evidence-based, non-shaming and affirming pregnancy resource center, and only the second all-options center of its kind in the nation.  
In October, Laurie and I toured this little house, affectionately known as the Fund Shack, and sat talking on the side porch as the sun set. We spoke about the Fund’s work, their new location, and Laurie’s vision for its future in Jackson.

Marisa Jane Green for Deep South Voice: Tell me about this new Fund house, and how it came to be.
Laurie Bertram Roberts: I was chatting with Natalie [Offiah of Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition] one night, and I was trying to get her some condoms for MSSC. And I was saying you know, I have this crazy idea: I wish we could get a house. A house where we had enough space, where if someone needed to stay the night, they could stay the night. And Natalie was saying, we never have space for queer youth who are put out of their houses, and I was thinking that what would be cool is if we could find a space that was big enough, so if queer kids needed

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