Michelle Erenberg is co-founder of Lift Louisiana — a non-profit based in New Orleans that advocates for the freedom of women to exercise their reproductive rights. Erenberg is a wife and mother who has been a public policy analyst and advocate for the past 15 years.
In our conversation, Erenberg explains that she started Lift Louisiana to help raise women above the barrage of laws that the Louisiana legislature passes on a regular basis that invariably seek to limit the choices available to Louisiana women when it comes to reproductive rights.
It is clear from the actions of working majorities in the Louisiana legislature that women are viewed as second-class citizens. Many of those same law makers parroted lies about opposing the Affordable Care Act because (they maintained) they opposed allowing the government to come between patients and their doctors. Yet, the anti-abortion laws and regulations enacted and promulgated have had that exact effect — inserting the State of Louisiana into what should be private discussions between women and their doctors.
It’s moved beyond irony into blatant hypocrisy.
Earlier this year, Lift Louisiana launched a statewide media campaign calling for Louisiana lawmakers to pass laws based on facts, not laws based on lies. Erenberg says that is precisely what many of the state’s restrictive abortion laws and rules are — based on lies about science and medicine.
In addition to public advocacy (Erenberg is not an attorney), Lift Louisiana also helps train lawyers in the process of how to represent minors who seek abortions in the state-mandated judicial bypass hearings. They do that as part of the Louisiana Judicial Bypass Project.
While Lift Louisiana has just gotten started, Erenberg says the group will continue to publicly advocate for women’s reproductive freedom as well as full healthcare equality. Judging by their early work, Erenberg and Lift Louisiana are off to a solid start.