Global Impacts of Overturning Roe v. Wade – Ep.64

Practicing Cultural Competency – Ep.63
October 11, 2022
Power to Dismantle Racism – Ep.65
October 25, 2022

Melyssa Barrett is joined again by Dr. Jessie Lammarre Andrè to discuss the implications of overturning Roe v. Wade and its global impact on sexuality and women’s health.  

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around diversity, inclusion, and equity. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share, or is actively part of building solutions in this space. Let’s get started.

All right. So again, this week, I’m excited because we have Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andre. I’m working on my Rs. It’s been a while since I rolled my Rs, but you’re helping me to work on it. So welcome Dr. Jessie Andre. And we wanted to talk about, or at least I wanted to learn about Roe v. Wade, and then maybe we can talk about some of the impacts that the decision has, not only on the upcoming election and all of that, but really on our lives in general. So … Oh, go ahead.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Well, I was going to say thank you so much for having me back. I loved our conversation last time. Really excited to talk about what we’re about to talk about, because again, as a sexuality educator, therapist and researcher, or slash sexologist, this is my jam. And I know this topic is being talked about a lot in the States and really all over the world because it’s had global implications. So let’s get into it.

Melyssa Barrett:  All right. So, talk to me about Roe v. Wade in terms of, I know you’re living in France and working over here and born in Haiti, but you’re kind of all over the place. So, can you give me your synopsis of Roe v. Wade and how it is impacting the conversation about sexuality?

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah, yeah. So, I think when former President Trump put in the bid after the previous Justice died, everyone was kind of … There were certain people that were split on what this meant for reproductive health, what it meant for a lot of the land breaking rights, or Supreme Court decisions that happened, really in the past 20 years.

So, we’re looking at things like the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell. We have talking about people of the same sex being able to get married. And a lot of people talked about, okay, reproductive rights are going to be attacked. But I don’t think people were expecting Roe v. Wade to be overturned. And I don’t think people around the world actually thought Roe v. Wade was going to be overturned. Because when I talked to my colleagues in here in France about what was happening in the States, granted, not everyone knows about the judicial process in the United States, but we all thought Roe v. Wade was law of the land, because that’s what the Supreme Court says. That’s the law of the land.

And so, the fact that it was repealed, I think one was a shock to I, myself and some other colleagues that practice internationally. But we were thinking about really what it means globally. So, what I don’t think people understand is there are trickle down consequences of this decision being overturned, and that expands beyond the United States borders. So, there are certain efforts and programs that the United States sponsors across the world expanding sexual reproductive health and rights, and those potentially are going to be impacted.

Now, what that means is, let’s say a country like Haiti receives aid from the United States, from the Clinton era to implement sexuality education. And there might be some things in there that they’re no longer able to do, because again, that might fall outside of the scope of really what the program is expanded for. So I know, granted, it’s horrible for the women and the people that are pregnant or don’t want to be pregnant in the States, but I think myself, looking at globally, what this has caused, it’s about to be a mess of a show.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. So, when you talk about sex education with aid that we’re delivering, it’s not just education, right?

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  It’s not just education. It’s not just education, it’s … So, when we think about countries where you are seeing overwhelming poverty, and one of those things that I think is not talked about is the impact of having reproductive power and reproductive access. The impact that, that has on a community.

In communities where we see vast differences of socioeconomic resources. These are women and communities that are entrenched in poverty and will remain in poverty because women do not have access to education. They don’t have access to reproductive care, and things that might say, Okay, I don’t want to have a child now. Because what happens when you have a child? You essentially then are responsible for your life in another life. Women in countries that are developing, what the research is showing, and what these women are telling us themselves is, “I started having children and because I was married, I kept having children.” And therefore, continuing that cycle of poverty.

So, what we see here is the access to, the key to lifting women out of poverty, lifting communities out of poverty is one, providing women with education and people having the right to reproductive freedom and autonomy. That means having a child when you want to, and when you feel like you are prepared to both mentally, emotionally, physically, and most importantly, economically.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Wow. That’s powerful. Because I think one of the things that I think a lot here, the messaging is all around abortion. It doesn’t necessarily give us, in some cases that full view of global impact for how it affects. And as you’re talking about, it’ll affect the global economy at the end of the day.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah, and so, it’s quite interesting because even if you don’t want to think, even you’re saying, “Okay, let’s look within our backyard.” So let’s look within our backyard. So, who are the United States community or populations are often the most disadvantaged, disproportionate and more prone to poverty? That is single mothers.

So, we’re looking at individuals that have children, and they are trapped in the cycle of poverty. And that’s not to say that all single mothers are going to be trapped in the cycle of poverty. But, when we’re looking at the single mothers that are reporting to be lower on the socioeconomic scale, we’re looking at the level of education attainment. We’re looking at the annual income these individuals are making. And we can’t say, “Oh, well this logic applies for foreign women. Give people who can give birth, give people with uteruses the right and the autonomy to choose when they’re going to be able to have children, and watch how that has an impact on the community, how that has an impact on the individual, and how that has an impact on society overall itself.”

And so we can’t say that it’s just about abortion, because when we’re taking it down to the individual, we can say, “Okay, here’s a person with a uterus born somewhere in the United States, in the South.” We’re not even going to put a race on her. And she becomes pregnant before she was ready to be a parent. Let’s say she’s still in high school, or she just graduated from high school. What are the opportunities that she now has in order to set up herself best for the rest of her life? With the high school diploma, with the inflation going the way that it’s going, the rising cost of living, the rising cost of housing, all of these things. What are we saying to this person when we’re saying, “Okay, well, you had sex had unprotected sex, now you have a child, deal with it.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Right? Taking away the autonomy of this person saying, “Okay, I had unprotected sex. This is the consequence, these are the result. What are my options? Do I feel prepared to be able to be a mother and all of the responsibilities that come along with that? Or am I being forced into something that I am not mentally, financially, emotionally prepared for?”

And the data, research, personal anecdotes, I’ll say forced labor, doesn’t … It’s not going to have the outcomes that I think the people who are thinking being anti-abortion or pro-forced birth, thinks it’s going to have.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, and since I know you have such expertise in trauma, so can you talk about, people talk about rape and incest and how that certainly the decision makes an impact. But I mean, there’s got to be lots of other impacts that go along with that.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Of going along with forced birth?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah. And so it’s quite interesting …

Melyssa Barrett:  Especially in that situation, especially in that …

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Oh, oh yeah. So, I remember the first time I used the term forced birth, and the person that I was talking to, they’re were like, “Well, no one is actually forcing these women, these people to give birth.” And I said, “Well, think about it. If you’re telling a person, it is now illegal for you to terminate this pregnancy-

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Illegal for you to terminate this pregnancy. You are then essentially removing autonomy from this person and you are enacting a whole different trauma. For whatever reason a person might not want to go through with a birth, whether it be that they became pregnant as an act of sexual assault of incest. It’s two teenagers who didn’t have the proper access to sexuality education or contraceptives or ways to prevent pregnancy that found themselves pregnant. Whatever reason that someone might find themselves pregnant, there’s a whole other dynamic that happens when you go, when you force birth. So a perfect example I have of that, of how something innocuous as well, life begins at conception and it’s a crime to essentially have a termination. So as you know, I’m a psychotherapist and I had a woman that I was working with that I had no idea that she was pregnant, and so she was pregnant.

So she disclosed to me that she was pregnant and she was in her last trimester. And she explained to me how she lived in fear. Her entire pregnancy had wanted to have an abortion, but by the time, but she was underage. Underage. And so I believe she got pregnant. She discovered that she was pregnant when she was 17, and schizophrenia being presenting in someone under the age of under 20 is quite rare enough. So the fact that, you had this teenager who’s going through all of the things teenagers go through on top of being diagnosed with this huge monumental mental health diagnosis on top of going and finding out that she was pregnant. So her parents did not want her to have an abortion. So she found out that she was pregnant at 17 and she was literally counting down the days until she was 18 to be able to have an abortion.

But by the time she was able to access the abortion, it was already being the third trimester. So this person essentially lived in terror and she was institutionalized for six, I believe, five and a half months of her pregnancy because she was suffering from auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations. It was so bad that her parents had to hospitalize her. And so take all of the things that I just said into consideration. You have a young person. You have someone who has a mental health diagnosis, and you have someone that’s being forced to go through pregnancy and being institutionalized.

So there’s like five different traumas happening here. But when I saw her later on after she had given birth, the only thing that she kept talking about was the fact that she was so resentful at the fact that she had to go through this pregnancy, not because she hated the child that she gave birth to, but because of the guilt of what she had experienced doing her pregnancy and all of the genetic predispositions that she now was worried that she had passed down to her child, the fear that she lived through, like all of these things.

These are some things I think people don’t take into consideration when we’re thinking about like, what does it mean when you’re actually forcing someone to give birth or go through a pregnancy? And you might not have an extreme situation like that, but just the aspect. Anyone who’s been pregnant will tell you pregnancy is like no joke. And it’s not a disease, it’s not an emergency, but it’s also not something to minimize or say, “Just rub some dirt on it. You’ll get through it.” There should be a dignity and autonomy that is recognized with this. And so what happens when we essentially tell people, “You don’t have that anymore. You got pregnant, you got to see it through.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well that’s happening today. So people are now either flooding to different states in order to do it here in the US or they are… I mean, I was reading an article the other day and it was talking about how there was a woman who was having some sort of medical situation, but the doctor had to go call a lawyer before they could figure out what to do, which seems kind of strange to me when a doctor is supposed to be focused on giving you care that you need. But they don’t even understand the definition of life saving treatment and the interpretation of that when it comes to pregnancy and the termination per se.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah. And so it’s quite interesting because the Roe v Wade is now potentially and the different states that we’re gearing up to have these kind of partial bans or total bans. Texas is getting ready to be one of those. So for me, I work at a university in Texas, and so as a professor of social work, as a licensed social worker, there are implications now that allows practitioners or medical providers to be sued up to $10,000 if you’re providing information to individuals about termination.

And what does that mean for what you just said? The quality of care that we’re able to provide the people that are coming to us in their most desperate hour or potentially at one of the most lowest points in their lives, right, that now do we have to worry about lawsuits? So is it now that we can’t even have this conversation? I can’t talk to you about what your options are if you’re pregnant and you don’t want to be pregnant anymore because I potentially might be sued and how unethical that is.

Granted, the NASW has already put out a statement about our responsibilities, and I’m really hoping that other providers, like other doctors, whether-

Melyssa Barrett:  Associations or-

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  … it’s physicians or whatever. All those health professionals and associations will come out with a blanket statement about what it means, but then it also trickles down to what it means for myself as a licensed provider and the financial implications of that, because now it has to be written in the policy of the malpractice care that my malpractice policy that I carry of what happens if this occurs to me. Which again, which takes away from the fact of, we’re not then able to effectively provide care or information to the population, to the people that need it the most.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. So talk about some of the other implications of this. When you think about not just Roe v Wade, but healthcare, education, all of the, I mean, how does this dynamic impact everything else?

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  So even though it doesn’t feel like it, it actually trickles down into everything. So strictly looking at education, no thanks to the Bill Clinton administration that implemented the policy of federal funding for sexuality education. For years in the ’90s, we are placed with abstinence only education. And if the ’90s and the 2000s taught us anything, it’s abstinence only education does not work. If we’re looking at states like Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, some of the states that have the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies among people who are 13 to 24, you are going to see causation is not correlation. But I’m just saying if you’re looking at the data and you’re looking at the states that have abstinence only education and you’re looking at unplanned pregnancies among 13 to 19 or 13 to 24 year olds, the data speaks for itself.

Whereas states like Colorado, that is like [inaudible 00:21:45], we do comprehensive education over here. We supply birth control to people who ask for it. And we’re looking at the data of unplanned pregnancy of people in that same age bracket. There is a vast difference. And so when we’re thinking about the implications of a total ban or a partial ban of abortion, that trickles down to the information that people are going to be taught about. Hey, if you don’t want to ever have an abortion, how do you protect yourself? How do you prevent pregnancy? I can ask the average American, “Do you know how pregnancy works?” And people still don’t know how pregnancy works and it’s through no fault of their own.

This is the product of abstinence only education, or “We don’t talk about sex education,” or “You’ll learn about it when you get older,” or “That’s not a topic for children to be talking about,” right? We are living in the actual consequences of ignorance and it’s only going to get worse.

The other aspect, the other, I think the other kind of backlash of the overturning of Roe v. Wade turns into access to prenatal care. And so if we’re saying that we’re going to have total bans of abortion, do we have the health providers necessary enough to be able to support women or people that are going to be pregnant? For example, I was watching this documentary, and it blanks on me now, this county in Georgia where someone who was pregnant, she talks about driving an hour and a half both ways to go to her prenatal appointment because there are no OBs near her. And so when we’re talking about what happens, like what’s the consequences of not having access to prenatal care, it’s this, it’s people being pregnant and not-

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Right. It’s this, it’s people being pregnant and not having access to care or feeling like, “Oh, I can’t afford it,” and so forgoing it. Also, one thing that we don’t want to talk about, which is what really fueled this fight in the 70s, which is that picture of a hanger. Right? Abortions are going to happen whether they’re legal or not, so laws like this, what you’re essentially doing is you are putting people who are pregnant or women’s life at risk. Whether they choose to go through the pregnancy and they live in a small county in Georgia, where there is no access to an OB, and so they are going through nine, 10 months of pregnancy with no medical care access or provider, or a person that’s so desperate to not be pregnant that attempts to take it into their own hands. I’m rambling, but it makes me so mad.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, and I mean, you were talking about just even in education like our K through 12 systems. So, now you end up with folks going into the schools, I mean kids now going into schools, but then maybe there’s not enough funding for the school. I mean, to me, when you talk about the trickle down effect, then you start realizing how much economic impact it has around the world. So, speaking to you and your global experience, are there other countries maybe we can learn from or take some notes from? Do you have thoughts on how we can even deal with this, because I think it’s certainly an issue on the ballot, right?

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah, it’s an issue on the ballot and it’s an issue of people having access to the correct information. One of the things that I think I get angry at the most and scares me the most is ignorance through miseducation or misinformation, that people do not have the correct information. And when I’m talking about correct information, I’m talking about medically accurate information. I’m not talking about opinions, I’m not talking about anecdotal experience. I’m talking about what does the science say, because if it’s one thing that we can look to is we can look to data, we can look to science to point us to the way. And the fact that some people are existing on medically inaccurate information that is fueled by personal dogma, religion, biases, all of these things. And that’s not being addressed when they go to the polls.

And for me, I think that’s the thing that scares me the most, because again, I think when people kind of get to see the scope of how Roe v. Wade does not just impact women or does not just impact people who are pregnant, it’s going to impact children. It’s going to impact the children that are already in existence, the over half a million children in foster care that are struggling to find homes and forever families, how it’s going to impact men and secondary care providers. It’s not just if you have a uterus that you have to worry about this. And there’s this fascination with countries like Norway and Denmark and how those are kind of the happiest countries in the world. And if we’re looking at how that society is set up of why it is, why you have low rates of suicide, why you have low rates of unemployment, why you have low rates of planned termination, we have to look at how that society is set up.

One, they have universal healthcare and that’s a given, but I don’t know if the United States is ready to have the conversation of universal healthcare. But countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, they’re not looking to say, “Hey, you are pregnant. No, you have to stay pregnant.” I highly doubt the United States can develop into a society close to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, where we are seeing some of the lowest rates of abortions. But in order for us to get there, we actually have to apply some of the political and societal views that help those societies be what they are. I hope that makes [inaudible 00:29:21].

Melyssa Barrett:  What’s interesting to me is when… I mean, obviously we’ve got maternal health and all of the challenges that that is already bringing. I mean, people are struggling even to get doula, get it paid for by healthcare. I mean, there’s just so many things that are disproportionately measured and impacted on marginalized or underrepresented communities. You talk about poverty, but there’s so many… I mean, it’s like you do get into this generational cycle of challenges that you struggle to figure out how can I get out of this? And I think quite frankly, when you start losing hope like that, I mean, that provides even more challenges and issues on a day-to-day. You talk about suicide rates and things of that nature. I’m telling you, you’re breaking my heart this morning because I don’t know, I’m just so feeling all of the challenges that people are up against when it comes to just having the right to make a decision about my own body.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah. I got into sexuality education because I kind of landed there by accident as I was talking to teenage boys in a mental health group. But it kind of brought me back to when I was younger, I always said I wanted to be an OB/GYN and it broke my mother’s heart when I decided I did not want to go to med school and I actually wanted to go to grad school. But the conversation about maternal health has always been something that’s quite interesting because I mean, we can look at it from so many different ways. So for myself, when I was a sexuality educator, when I was a mental health practitioner, one of the most heartbreaking statistics, and when I saw this, I was like, “No, this is not true.” When I heard it, I was like, “No, this is not true.” And then I actually kept seeing it repeating over and over again, which is, teenage mothers are more likely to give birth to women who will then become teenage mothers.

So, we’re looking at kind of like the cycle. If you were the daughter of a teenage mother, you’re more likely to be a teenage mother yourself. Whatever value you place on that, pause on that. But then we ask ourselves, “Okay, what happens when you have a child?” The average cost of a child for 18 years, they’re saying is over a million dollars. And we’re not even talking about education, whether it be private or university education, a million dollars. And if we’re saying that people who are teenage mothers, there’s a max of just under 500,000 that they potentially on the high end could receive in their entire life of working with, I guess just minimum wage. The math already is not matching. So, someone who just has a high school diploma or does not even have a high school diploma, their earning capacity is already much lower than someone who does have a high school diploma.

And then we’re saying the average cost of a child is double, triple than what they will earn in their entire life, it doesn’t make sense. And then we look at race. We just kind of trickle down and we get to the baser of it all, and this is something that I’ve seen being talked about in Congress, which is maternal health and the disproportionate experiences of maternal health among women of color. Black women who are pregnant are dying, during birth, after birth, before they give birth. So, we already have that to contend with, and we’re not even looking at other populations like indigenous women, who again, I mean attention is not even being put on the disproportional health disparities of indigenous women or women of color. And then now we add forced pregnancy on top of that. The system, the society has not been set up to understand and be empathetic. What’s the word I’m looking for? Kind of medically trained or I don’t know.

The U.S. society is not prepared. They’re not prepared. Because if we were, I don’t think that we’d still be having these conversations. The conversations wouldn’t be about whether you’re pro-abortion or not. The conversation would be what life are we valuing here? What value are we putting on life? And why are we putting value on the life of, let’s say, an unborn fetus versus a woman that potentially, her life might be threatened because of that unborn fetus. And before we can even answer that, we have to account for other things like why we’re anti-medically accurate information for people, especially children, why we are anti-universal healthcare because having access to healthcare is going to make the difference. There’s so much to account for, pregnancy is at the bottom of it, but at this point it’s like, “Well, we might as well throw it all in the conversation because we’re already here.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. Obviously we’re not going to solve it here today, but I mean, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the conversation because I think it’s something where… conversation, because I think it’s something where you think it’s kind of one thing, but it really is so many things. And you said it best when you’re talking about maternal health. I mean, it’s like people are dying, and right now. I don’t know, it’s heartbreaking to me when you start thinking about all the things that are happening and how we need to take a real look at our society, our beliefs, our biases, and really figure out how we expect to live long term generationally. I mean, it’s like what are we leaving? What legacy are we leaving as we depart this place?

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah, absolutely. And the elections are coming. And if anyone is listening to me or interested in this topic, whatever you feel about pregnancy or forced pregnancy, you have to ask yourself, where do you stand on the legacy that is being left behind? And so this is for me where being an educator comes into play. Because again, the states that I mentioned, Colorado versus let’s say Mississippi or Alabama, so let’s look at education. Are you living in a state where it’s illegal or against the law for someone like myself, a sexuality educator, to come in and provide medically accurate, age appropriate information regarding sexual health? And when I say age appropriate, that’s what I mean, I mean age appropriate.

I get the question asked all the time, “When’s the right time to talk to my kid about sex?” I say, “When they start asking about it.” But they’re like, “But Dr. Andre, my five year old or my four year old asked me where babies come from.” And I say, “You can give a four year old medically accurate, age appropriate information about where babies come from in a way that is honest, accurate, and you add to that information as you get older.”

And I liken it to when you’re in kindergarten, you learn your alphabets. That’s the stepping blocks that you need to be able to read, the apple is red, in the first grade. So you have to have the basic foundation blocks in order to grow. And that’s what sexuality education should be. It should be five year olds or kindergartens learning about what appropriate consent is. Who is allowed to touch their body? What are their body part names? Having that information and having that being ingrained and woven into our children’s curricula, having it be ingrained and woven into our society, so that by the time someone gets to the point where they want to engage or initiate sex, that pregnancy doesn’t happen as a consequence of sex. Pregnancy happens because this is what was planned.

More often than not, the people within the age bracket of 13 to 19 getting pregnant, they’re not meaning to do it on purpose. So can we give them the information to help protect themselves? Can we give them the information to help them make a decision? And surprise, surprise, what Colorado also taught us is, by teaching kids medically accurate sex education, it’s actually delaying when they want to start having sex.

So it’s not doing what people think it’s going to be doing, which is if we talk about sex, these kids are going to want to do it. News flash, we have eight year olds watching pornography, eight year olds having access to pornography. Our young children are engaging with sex in a way, with an ease that our generation, older generation have never seen before. Remaining in willful ignorance, hiding this information from them is going to elicit a society of people who don’t have any autonomy, who have things happen to them. And a child should never be a consequence. A child is a blessing, a child is a gift, and a child should be welcomed into the world knowing that they were chosen to be here, not forced to be here, or as a consequence of being here. And this is where education comes from.

So when you’re going to the ballot this November 6th or this voting Tuesday… And it’s at every level, we need to start voting at every level, looking in the township, voting in to see what kind of sex education is being offered here. Are the people on the council, are they saying, “No, we can’t have medically accurate comprehensive sexuality education?” Are we having state laws that are saying, “We refuse to only have abstinence only education.” States like, hint, hint, hint, Alabama, where I can’t say condom or penis or I can’t say certain words talking when I’m delivering sexuality information. That is not going to help the problem of not having unplanned pregnancies, which is going to reduce termination.

And so here’s the trickle down effect or the big picture, if we want to reduce termination, we need to look at what kind of sexuality education people are getting. If they don’t have access or means or ways or information to protect themselves, we are going to keep having the cycle of people that don’t have the information, and so they’re not able to protect themselves the way that they need to or want to or have the right to.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  I rambled. Sorry. Again, passionate.

Melyssa Barrett:  I think what’s so important there, have the right to. Because that’s really what we’re talking about is human rights. So we could go on and on and on, but that was a good note to end on, I think. Because as people think about their own human rights, I think we want to make sure that we have the ability, that you have the ability to make a decision for yourself.

And certainly people have the right to make a decision for who they vote for, how they vote. And I love your process on, look at the local level. See what are people, whether it be your city council, your county supervisors, whatever they’re called in your area. So it’s so important. So thank you. Thank you Dr. Andre for giving us your perspective, because I just think a lot of people have questions about how it impacts. And so hopefully there are folks that are listening that maybe Dr. Andre gave you some food for thought.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yes. And depending on what state folks live in, there are organizations that exist, have existed, and hopefully will continue to exist to help give the information, to help with providing the resource, or point you to get those resources. But again, the question here is autonomy. And we are fighting for everyone’s autonomy, and there’s a personal responsibility that starts with, and that starts at the ballots. So that’s what I’ll say [inaudible 00:44:47].

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, awesome. Thank you. And certainly if there are folks out there that are contemplating suicide, please get help, please make a call. For some reason that is overwhelmingly coming to me right now to say. So, get help, please.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Yeah.

Melyssa Barrett:  So anyway, thank you so much Dr. Andre. And I am so excited that you were here to share with us.

Dr. Jessie Lamarre Andrè:  Thank you so much for giving me a platform to ramble on. Love the conversation, totally needed. And as you said, for anyone who feels like they are between a rock and a hard place, please, please reach out and get help. A Google search or talking to someone who you feel safe with. Sometimes when it comes to hopelessness, hopelessness only exists if you cannot see the light or if you believe that there is no light, and there is a light.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Thank you. All right. Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.