RH Reality Check recently asked its colleagues working to advance justice movements throughout the country to share what affected them most in 2014 and their greatest wish for 2015.
“The people we serve need us to change our approach in order to secure reproductive health, rights, and most importantly justice,” say Simpson and Richards. “We jointly commit to being in better service to those goals and standing in community together.”
Reproductive justice is about human rights, including the right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments. This week at the United Nations, South Africa Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini focused on reproductive justice as a global framework.
The stories of women who participated in focus groups led by SisterSong, included in a new report, convey the gross under-education and discriminatory treatment of Black women living in the South, in particular, where sexual and reproductive health education is nonexistent and stigma is rampant.
The recent exclusion of the long-term work of scores of reproductive justice organizations, activists, and researchers that have challenged the “pro-choice” label for 20 years, seen recently in New York Times and Huffington Post articles, is not only disheartening but, intentionally or not, continues the co-optation and erasure of the tremendously hard work done by Indigenous women and women of color for decades.
The over-policing and over-criminalization of pregnant women and mothers is becoming a major issue in this country, and the safety of mothers is at stake.
Anti-abortion “abolitionists” believe the only way to end abortion is to convert the entire country to their version of Christianity, thereby making the very concept of abortion “unthinkable” to the masses.
The right woman could help the NAACP ensure that reproductive rights, as well as voting rights and civil rights, are couched as human rights.
The two-day Take Root conference examined the tenets of reproductive justice: ensuring “the right to have a child, the right to not have a child, and the right to raise that child in a healthy, safe environment.”
In Mississippi, two ballot initiatives threaten the health and lives of women across the state, and the disenfranchisement of the largest bloc of voters in the state. A campaign based on a reproductive justice model can defeat both.