The Intersection of Environmental Justice and Reproductive Health

Image Description: Distributions of adverse birth outcomes across the US, with purple being the worst outcomes, and green denoting the best.


“The Intersection of Environmental Justice and Reproductive Health”

by Carissa Bruton

In December 2021, I began working with Professor Antonia Juhasz of the Tulane Environmental Studies department as her research assistant on a project at the intersection of environmental justice and reproductive health.

Throughout this internship, I have conducted literature reviews, investigating past publications that have identified reproductive outcomes related to environmental hazards. I have also worked on finding and manipulating data sources to be useful in our research analyses. I have compiled and organized all of this information into research memos and managed my own time schedule. Through this, I have gained valuable research skills that will be useful to me throughout my education and career.

I am looking forward to continuing my work with this project into the summer as we begin to define our research areas more and explore how to best engage and support communities affected by these issues.

I am a third-year undergraduate student studying public health, gender and sexuality studies, and sociology, so this internship has allowed me to engage in research at the intersection of my academic, career, and personal interests and passions. I am currently enrolled in the Combined Degree Program through Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine to pursue my Master’s of Health Administration. I hope to use this education to fuel my health administration and management career. In this field, my goal is to help improve gender equity in healthcare, and reproductive justice is a crucial component of this. Thus, this internship has helped me learn about under-researched issues at the intersection of reproductive health, environmental justice, race, class, gender, and more. Moving forward, I will be able to use this knowledge and skills to support the rest of my education and my future career endeavors.

I want to express my deep gratitude to Professor Antonia Juhasz for her outstanding mentorship and support and for taking me on as her research intern this semester. I am thankful to have the opportunity to learn from someone with so much expertise in environmental justice, and it has been an honor to work with her. Additionally, I am so appreciative to the Newcomb Institute for managing the Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Internship to allow undergraduate students to learn, grow our experience in the field, and make positive contributions to improving reproductive justice in New Orleans, Louisiana, and beyond.