What is Reproductive Justice?
Sister Song: Women of Colour Reproductive Justice Collective describes here the development of the reproductive justice framework by women of colour:
Women of color developed the reproductive justice framework to speak to the lived experiences of women of color who did not believe that the privacy-based pro-choice movement captured our challenges and opportunities in achieving self-determination for ourselves and our communities. Reproductive Justice analyzes how the ability of any woman to determine her own reproductive destiny is linked directly to the conditions in her community—and these conditions are not just a matter of individual choice and access. Reproductive Justice addresses the social reality of inequality, specifically, the inequality of opportunities that we have to control our reproductive destiny. Moving beyond a demand for privacy and respect for individual decision making to include the social supports necessary for our individual decisions to be optimally realized, this framework also includes obligations from our government for protecting women’s human rights. Our options for making choices have to be safe, affordable and accessible, three minimal cornerstones of government support for all individual life decisions.
Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (now Forward Together) have defined Reproductive Justice as “the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, social, and economic well-being of women and girls, based on the full achievement and protection of women’s human rights.”
The National Organization of Women (NOW) defines Reproductive Justice as a concept which “recognizes that reproductive oppression is a result of the intersection of multiple oppressions and is inherently connected to the struggle for social justice and human rights. Women of low economic means suffer consequences from the lack of access to complete health care (for example, the high rate of cervical cancers among women of color).”
Want to get involved and support reproductive justice on campus? Check out Students for Reproductive Justice and find out more about the work that this UVSS student group is doing on and off campus!