• Jamie Rothberg

A Rare Diamond


“Women are so resilient and powerful, and we are a force that has only just recently been released.”

Jamie Diamond, a graduate of The George Washington University, is not your average 20-something woman. Sure, she grew up on Long Island and indulges in a good ice cream flavor every now and then, but that’s not all. Jamie made the move to New Orleans where she works at a nonprofit law firm that oversees the city jail - something called the Avodah Jewish Service Corps. Fun fact: avodah in Hebrew (עבודה) literally means “work.”

Aside from - and in addition to - her day job, Jamie creates jewelry. As a middle schooler, she learned her skills from her neighbor, and since then, she decided to make jewelry for a cause: abortion fundraising. This specific funding issue was not random. When Jamie was old enough, she learned that her parents had a stillborn child. While this happened before Jamie came along, she explains how she “grew up with kind of this shadow of how failed or imperfect reproductive care can cause so much pain.”

Instead of keeping the suffering to themselves, the Diamond family decided to do good, each in their own ways. Her mother runs a support group for those who are having trouble conceiving or those who have endured miscarriages or the loss of their baby.

Jamie considers herself “hyper-aware of how reproductive issues can manifest themselves in people’s lives.”

Of course, this spouts from her mother. Because Mrs. Diamond runs the support group - she feels conflicted on pro-choice. She spends hours with these women, these families, talking with them after they have suffered such a terrible loss. Those who are desperately trying to have a baby. But there is always the understanding that for those that are trying so hard to conceive, there are also those who are not ready to raise a child, those who need the abortion for their own personal reasons.

So naturally, Jamie decided to do her own research and discover her beliefs. She has been “informed by my interest in women’s rights, reproductive justice, and my women’s studies courses in college.”

According to SELF, “thirty percent of American women will have an abortion by age 45.” That actually makes abortion common. And while women find the decision of getting an abortion extremely difficult, those who go through with the procedure do not regret their decision.

Jamie wants “every woman to have as much choice around their own motherhood and parenthood as I do.” She understands that while not everyone has to make the same choices she makes, everyone should have rights to their bodies. “Reproductive healthcare is still healthcare,” Jamie explains.

And so comes the jewelry to raise funds for this care. When Jamie was living in DC, she purchased a hanger pendant from the DC Abortion Fund. She put it on and never took it off. Unfortunately, the pendant fell off and Jamie look everywhere for a new one, but they were nowhere to be found. Even at the DC Abortion Fund. Using her background in jewelry making, she decided to make a new pendant on her own. By now, Jamie had been well versed in the funding for abortion and decided, why not make her own hanger jewelry to sell, and use the funds towards Planned Parenthood?

Creating these pendants are low cost and simple, so Jamie “started selling them to people and donating all the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. It only takes Jamie a few minutes to create a wire hanger and under ten minutes to make the hanger ring. She charged minimum price so anyone could buy them, and in turn, support pro-choice rights. Jamie created an Etsy page for her jewelry, which also serves as a platform for people to donate between $5, $10, and $15 to the cause that means so much to her.


Jamie hasn’t received any backlash for her somewhat unique jewelry, but she has received a lot of praise. “A lot of people and strangers have thanked me for my fundraising project, that's made me feel really good and showed me that there are lots of like-minded people out there with regards to reproductive rights.”

And then there are some that want to know what the hanger stands for. Jamie states, “A lot of people ask me what my hanger necklace means, and I'm usually a little apprehensive to explain the meaning to them, especially here in Louisiana. But luckily, no one's lectured me about fetal person-hood or anything. Everyone's been really supportive and some people have even bought one off me then and there.”


Reproductive rights is an issue that everyone is aware of, yet not everyone wants to acknowledge it. When Jamie is the first to bring it up, it sets ease for conversation and people can actually talk about something so controversial in a civilized matter.

In her short time of selling these pieces, Jamie has felt “a stronger connection to all women through this project.”

Jamie hopes that one day, society will allow women to access safe reproductive care, making it a normal and expected action. For the meantime, Jamie will continue selling her hangers and hope that she is giving women going through the toughest of times relief and hope.

You can buy here jewelry on her Etsy page:

Hanger Pendant

Hanger Ring


And you can find her posting her awesome jewelry here:

Facebook

Instagram

To learn more about reproductive rights, please go to the Planned Parenthood website.


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Jamie Rothberg | Writer | Chicago

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