Who are the doulas who volunteer with the Bay Area Doula Project? They're amazing, diverse people, doing so much great work in the world, it's hard to believe any of them has time to volunteer with us. We've been using this space to introduce you to many of the BADP doulas. This week, meet Vanessa Norton.
Vanessa is a full-spectrum doula and freelance writer originally from Buffalo, NY. She is thrilled to work with BADP/ACCESS and sees this work as powerful and personally transformative.
She was introduced to reproductive justice as a high school senior in 1992. As an ACT UP activist, she took part in organizing the local community to successfully defend its clinics against Operation Rescue. For the following 3 years, she worked in clinic defense in Detroit and elsewhere around the country. She has since completed a BA in Anthropology/Gender Studies from Bard College, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, published several short stories, and spent years teaching English and Applied Arts abroad. In 2012, she became a certified birth and postpartum doula through Cornerstone Doula Trainings and fell in love all over again with the world of reproductive justice.
She often travels outside the Bay Area to research the places she writes about. This past summer, she spent a week in Fargo, North Dakota, where she interviewed local people working the full-spectrum of reproductive options: the director and workers at the Red River Women's [abortion] Clinic, birth doulas, midwives, and community members who publicly support the patients at the clinic through creative projects.