How Reproductive Justice Serves as a Model for Progressive Organizing

How Reproductive Justice Serves as a Model for Progressive Organizing

If the reproductive justice movement has one message, it’s this: reproductive rights alone aren’t enough.

The term “reproductive justice” was coined in 1994 by a group of black women activists to emphasize the necessity of placing reproductive rights and health in a broader social justice framework. What that means in practice is that we can’t divorce the battle for abortion rights and reproductive health care from struggles against racism, economic inequality, homophobia, and transphobia—because these things also affect whether and how people are able to make decisions about their bodies, their families, and their lives.

It’s not enough to ensure that contraception and abortion are legal if many people are still unable to access them because of poverty and marginalization. Reproductive justice also means that those who choose to parent should be able to raise their children in safe and healthy surroundings, free from violence, discrimination, and environmental pollution.

As Naa Hammond of Groundswell Fund notes in the above video, “historically, this is a movement that has been deeply intersectional”—one that centers the experience and insights of women of color, low-income women, and LGBTQ people.

Reproductive justice advocates in the United States are fighting to ensure that people have access to abortion, contraception, comprehensive sex education, and prenatal and childbirth care. But they’re also asking why parents in places like Flint, Michigan, must raise children without clean water because of environmental racism, challenging flawed immigration and criminal justice systems that tear families apart, and working to end violence against trans and gender-nonconforming people.

This focus on building connections across issues and between communities is one reason the reproductive justice movement offers an important model for progressive organizing—and has valuable lessons to teach those of us in philanthropy about how to support transformative change.

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9 Comments

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Reproductive Justice isn't different from any other social justice or human rights and should be treated equally. It should also included in health and environmental education programmes.

This quite of course it would reduce mortality and natality significantly especially in Africa.

thank you for supporting this work and communities of color.

keep on sharing with us some key human rights issues

thank you for sharing human rights problem

Great, strong, direct and informative communication. So much focus and philanthropic dollars are directed to the 'corporate' NGOs. Measurable effects on the ground negligible at best. Accountability? Overwhelming layered in bureaucratic red tape and hand wringing. Those of us muddling along at the grassroots level trying to improve reproductive education and provide safe, affordable and effective product access are hard pressed to attract an attentive ear or funding. Thank you Naa for articulating the issues and recommending how to move ahead more inclusively against the current tidal wave of white supremacy.

thanks for share your experience to us .

please provide for us reading books more especially in the remote areas or contact us

I agree wholeheartedly that state and local focus is necessary in the next four years to continue the push for reproductive and other social justice issues as the agenda on the federal level has dramatically shifted away from such priorities. Thanks for your thoughtful insight!

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