Reproductive Justice (RJ) means the human right to control our sexuality, our gender, our work, and our reproduction. That right can only be achieved when all women and girls have the complete economic, social, and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, our families, and our communities in all areas of our lives.
Indigenous women, women of color, and trans people have always fought for Reproductive Justice, but the term was invented in 1994. Right before attending the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where the entire world agreed that the individual right to plan your own family must be central to global development, a group of black women gathered in Chicago in June of 1994. They recognized that the women’s rights movement, led by and representing middle class and wealthy white women, could not defend the needs of women of color and other marginalized women and trans people. We needed to lead our own national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women, families, and communities.
Why We Use Inclusive Language to Talk About Abortion
Excerpts from the ACLU
Cisgender women have abortions more than any other group of people. Nearly one in four women will have an abortion in their lifetime. The vast majority of data available about abortions and abortion access surveys women. That data tells us that the average person who gets an abortion is a woman of color who is already a mother and who lives at or below the federal poverty level. A more inclusive and more accurate perspective is anyone who can become pregnant needs to be able to get an abortion if they need or want one, including many cisgender women, some non-binary people, some intersex people, some Two Spirit people, and some trans men.
The fight for abortion rights and LGBTQ+ rights go hand in hand because they are both ultimately about protecting bodily autonomy, but they’re also intertwined because lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, queer people and trans gay men, can experience pregnancy and deserve control over if, when, and how they become pregnant, and whether or not they stay pregnant.
The Fight for Reproductive Rights in Our Community
We believe that the fight for reproductive rights is a fight for human rights, and an attack on these rights is an attack on our collective civil rights. However, the reversal of Roe v Wade and subsequent bans on abortion in states across the country disproportionately affect women of color, trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people. The fight for reproductive rights is not a singular issue, it is an issue that intersects with our many different racial and social identities.
We are in awe of the movement rising up in Evanston. #evanstoniansforreproductiverights is kicking ass and we're honored to be part of it! We also embrace the fact that there is still so much to learn about how we stand in solidarity with communities who are doing the work of antiracism and social justice. If we are fighting for reproductive rights we can't not fight for Black, Brown, Indigenous rights, LGBTQIA rights, gender rights, trans rights, and disability rights. There is such a rich history of movements to protect reproductive rights in our country that are inclusive and work to center the communities who are most negatively impacted. Join us in learning about and honoring the origins of the reproductive rights movements of the 70’s, and of the Black, Brown and Indigenous women who rose up for Reproductive Justice in the early 90’s.
This resource offers an intersectional perspective on the fight for reproductive rights.
More resources coming soon...