By Molly Bangs, Director | October 15, 2020 Blog Post

We are excited to introduce “Forward Thinking” — Equity Forward’s new blog platform. Here, you’ll find much of the same quality research that drives our campaigns and reports, but in op-ed form. 

Forward Thinking is launching four years after the Trump Administration took power — nearly as long as Equity Forward has existed. We were founded as a watchdog project to hold accountable anti-reproductive health forces through research-driven campaigns. Our work began primarily tracking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and those outside of the federal government influencing HHS policies. EF’s research — including extensive public records requests — led us to identify patterns and connections throughout other federal agencies as well as other levels of governance. We now work to combat attacks on reproductive health, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other human rights at the state, federal, and international levels. 

This work is informed by the belief that policy is personal: In order to understand the intended impact of a policy, we think that its full life cycle must be inspected, beginning with the policy’s origins and the people behind it. Our research is therefore guided by questions deciphering decisionmakers’ paths to better understand their ideologies. 

But “policy is personal” takes another meaning when the policies you are working to defend concern your own rights: bodily autonomy, reproductive freedom, who to love, the ability to raise a family safely, respect for your own identity, and quality health care — access to which is oftentimes further eroded if you are a BIPOC, an immigrant, low-income, transgender, queer, young, or living in a rural area. Given that there is no shortage of attacks on these fronts — and the Equity Forward team spends not just their work days but their lived experiences seeped in them — we decided we needed an outlet to express just how personal these policies are. Hence, Forward Thinking was born. 

Regardless of what the U.S. political landscape looks like in coming months, we are certain that attacks on reproductive health and human rights will continue through different avenues. But we are also certain that those in our movement will continue to stand up as staunch defenders of what is right. This blog platform will give our team’s thoughts on how to do so looking forward.

Molly Bangs is Director at Equity Forward. She is an advocate, researcher, and writer on reproductive health, rights, and justice, as well as other human rights. Molly has a strong background in political research, policy, and journalism having previously worked as a researcher at Equity Forward, and as an alum of The Century Foundation, The Huffington Post, and the New York City Council. Her bylines appear in outlets including Truthout, VICE, and HuffPost. Molly holds a Master's degree in political science from Columbia University.