what is reproductive justice?

The term “reproductive justice” emerged from the experiences of women of color and their concern for reproductive health.  Emphasizing the needs of girls and women of color, Kimberly Crenshaw (1989) advocated for an intersectional analysis to account for a more comprehensive approach to reproductive choice and the empowerment of all women. An intersectional approach demands that we take into account a woman’s total reproductive health and its relationship to her living conditions and experiences at work, school, home, and on the street, and is based on the understanding that the economic means of women of color is directly linked to their sexual health and human rights. The goal is not to isolate parts of a woman’s representation, but instead to see her life and experiences as a totality. Thus, reproductive justice means advancing a discussion of women and their bodies that takes into account their community and includes environmental factors of oppression, violence and trauma.  An intersectional analysis focuses on acknowledging that individuals occupy multiple social locations and recognizes the complexity—rather than the singularity—of human experience (Thorton-Dill & Zambrana, 2009).

Issues of reproductive health, assault and rape affect not only heterosexual women, but also gender non-conforming people as well. The Pro-choice Public Education Project is an inclusive movement for the reproductive rights of all people and advocates for those whose voices are not heard. Reproductive justice goes beyond the single issue of abortion to address the physical, mental, spiritual, social, political, and economic well being of all women, transgender and gender variant people.

The PEP project advocates for the reproductive health, rights and justice framework that includes:

  1. Parenting and birthing
  2. Abortion and birth control
  3. Sex Education
  4. Access to reproductive health care
  5. Spirituality and reproductive choice
  6. Sexual health and personal care

Reproductive justice is not just about reproduction, but the choice people have over their bodies based on human rights, health and movement for social change (Miriam Pérez, 2007).

 Reproductive Justice is:

  • The right to have a child
  • The right to not have a child
  • The right to parent a child
  • The right to same sex parenting
  • The right to quality and affordable healthcare
  • The right to birthing options
  • The right to dictate choices and exert control over our bodies
  • The right to economic and social resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction

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