More on Reproductive Justice

In honor of the Reproductive Justice Week of Action that Jessica posted about last week, I wanted to share a few of my own thoughts about RJ as well.
In my day job, I work at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, whose work is based on the principles of reproductive justice (RJ). I spend a good amount of my time talking to people about reproductive justice, usually with the Latina/Latino men and women that we work with. I really like the framework because I think it provides us with a wholistic and broad-based way of bringing in all the issues we care about, through a feminist lens.
When I talk about RJ, I talk about it as being about people’s right to create the families they want to create. The work that we do as part of the reproductive justice movement is all about ensuring people’s right to create these families (when and how they want to create them), and that can encompass A LOT of different issues. For example, there are the obivous ones, like reproductive health care access. You can’t create the family you want if you don’t have access to things like birth control, abortion and prenatal care. It also encompasses things like immigration status, socioeconomic conditions, job security, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race and discrimination, spirituality, environmental conditions.
Each of these issues has an impact on our ability to create the families we want to create, and therefore must be a part of the repro justice movement. It’s a philosophy that emphasizes the intersectionality of the many social justice issues, and I’m a big fan.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted April 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Sounds great, Miriam. I wish some of my blog readers would read this post and click some of the links. Some of them seem to find it so easy to be against certain aspects of RJ because they don’t understand the intersectionality of RJ and other social problems.

  2. locomotivebreath1901
    Posted April 22, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but this type of dissonant thinking will always be marginalized as ‘aberrant’ as long as feminism tries to enjoin concepts like ‘killing the unborn’ with ‘justice’.

  3. Posted April 23, 2008 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Hi Miriam,
    Just wanted to say I always appreciate your posts both here and at RadicalDoula. I didn’t have a chance to introduce myself when you were in Boston at WAM! but really enjoyed hearing you talk at the backlash panel. After the semester ends, I’m looking forward to more time with which to read and respond to your posts.
    Anna

  4. Mina
    Posted April 23, 2008 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “I’m sorry, but this type of dissonant thinking will always be marginalized as ‘aberrant’ as long as feminism tries to enjoin concepts like ‘killing the unborn’ with ‘justice’.”
    There’s nothing dissonant about knowing that it’s unjust to hurt a human being for the sake of one’s favorite body part of hers (forcing her to stay pregnant for the sake of her embryo, forcing her to suffer FGM for the sake of her hymen, etc.).
    I don’t have to be a fetus supremacist to support equal rights for all people. ;)

  5. Mina
    Posted April 23, 2008 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “I’m sorry, but this type of dissonant thinking will always be marginalized as ‘aberrant’ as long as feminism tries to enjoin concepts like ‘killing the unborn’ with ‘justice’.”
    There’s nothing dissonant about knowing that it’s unjust to hurt a human being for the sake of one’s favorite body part of hers (forcing her to stay pregnant for the sake of her embryo, forcing her to suffer FGM for the sake of her hymen, etc.).
    I don’t have to be a fetus supremacist to support equal rights for all people. ;)

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