Mainstream reproductive rights activism in the US has historically centered the experiences of white women. Because of this, our national conversation on the topic focused on “a woman’s right to choose”—to prevent pregnancy with birth control or to terminate pregnancy with abortion.
Women who aren’t white face more obstacles to access, so for them the “right to choose” was a hollow promise. In 1994, a group of Black women wrote a statement calling for a focus on access rather than just choice. They coined the term “Reproductive Justice.”
Since then, Reproductive Justice has been a movement lead by and centering the needs of People of Color, as they advocate for “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” (SisterSong)
For this month’s discussion, Lisa will co-facilitate an introduction to Reproductive Justice. We will explore the history of race and reproduction, the origins of the RJ movement, and its relationship to intersectionality.
Please read in advance:
What is Reproductive Justice? by SisterSong: https://www.sistersong.net/reproductive-justice/
RJ Founding Mothers, the women who wrote the 1994 statement about reproductive care access: https://bwrj.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/151/
Black Women on Universal Health Care Reform, the text of their statement: https://bwrj.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/black-women-on-universal-health-care-reform/
This month’s meeting is likely to include discussion of topics often associated with trauma, including pregnancy complications involving illness, injury, and death; medical trauma; and sexual assault. If you have experienced any of these traumas, please look after your own well being and make an informed decision about how (or whether) you will engage in this conversation. If you want to ask the group to do something that would better support your participation, please message one of the facilitators in advance if possible so we can accommodate you.
Monthly meeting overview:
Please join in the conversation as we continue to get real about the problem of racism in our world, and move toward personal and collaborative action. Our Racial Justice Dialogues are opportunities to talk openly about racism and other forms of oppression in our society. Please join us to continue sharing our experiences, hopes and dreams about living in community beyond race. All are welcome.
- This group meets the first Saturday of each month...now in the Moon Room on the 2nd floor. Come in the side door off of School Street. The meeting topics come from votes done at meetings.
- Please let us know your needs so we can help make the event accessible for you. Note: there is a ramp near the main entrance, and an elevator available. The elevator is tricky so please arrange to meet one of us five minutes or so before the meeting so we can help.
To help us be prepared for all participants, please RSVP if you can come to this meeting and update it if your plans change; use our Meetup page or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)