Loretta Ross “Reproductive Justice 101”
•SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, the right to have children or not have children, and the right to parent children in safe and sustainable communities. Reproductive Justice combines reproductive rights and social justice because these are inextricably linked.
•Indigenous women, women of color, and trans* people have always fought for Reproductive Justice. The term itself was invented in 1994.
•Examples of reproductive oppression include forced childbirth, forced sterilization, forced removal of children, medical experimentation, coerced birth control, and anti-immigration policies that target women and mothers. Patterns of this subjugation in America almost exclusively target indigenous people, black people, or people of color.
•Reproductive Justice (RJ) is about abortion rights, but it is not only about abortion access. RJ is about providing access to contraception, comprehensive sex education, STI prevention and care, alternative birth options, adequate prenatal and pregnancy care, domestic violence assistance, adequate wages for women of color and other marginalized women to support families, access to safe homes, and much more.
•Reproductive oppression, as defined by SisterSong defines reproductive oppressions as “the control and exploitation of women, girls, and individuals through our bodies, sexuality, labor, and reproduction.” Reproductive oppression is used to control entire communities.
•Reproductive Justice Pre-Video Survey (Individual)
How would you define reproductive justice?
How well do you understand your rights about making reproductive decisions?
Where do you get your information about sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights? Do you feel like you’re able to easily obtain reliable, trustworthy information about these rights?
•Small Breakout Discussions
Before you watched Loretta Ross speak, did you know what the term “Reproductive Justice” meant? Did you associate this term with the pro-choice crowd, the anti-choice crowd, or both? Has your understanding of the concept change since you watched “Reproductive Justice 101”? If so, how?
Do you feel like your community respects and upholds people’s rights to make a range of sexual and reproductive decisions? Elaborate.
In conversations about reproductive rights the word “choice” is often thrown around. Do you think that in the United States today, everyone has the same kind of access to choose their reproductive options? How do various identities intersect with access to reproductive choice and services?
Do you think that reproductive justice is primarily a women’s issue? In what ways do men, transgender, and gender nonbinary people benefit from Reproductive Justice?