There’s a radical idea that you are in charge of your own reproductive future, and that you have the right to choose if, when and how you have children, don’t have children, and choose to parent your children. In this episode, Heidi Williamson from In Our Own Voice, The National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, sits down with us to discuss the importance of reproductive justice and how it works in tandem with reproductive health.
We learn that the reproductive justice movement has its roots in the space where reproductive rights and social justice meet. Gender, race, and class are integral factors that contribute to one’s access to reproductive health and justice, particularly for women of color.
Black women have a right to a healthy body before pregnancy, a satisfying and healthy pregnancy, and attentive medical care post-pregnancy. They also have a right to parent their children in communities that are supported by the state rather than in environments that rob women of their children due to police violence or crime. And, black women who decide not to have children have a right to be valued and supported through access to birth control, abortion, and reproductive health information.
Quite simply: society’s most vulnerable women deserve access to the key components of reproductive health: bodily autonomy and self-determination. Additionally, other issues (like LGBTQ justice, gender justice, economic justice, etc.) must be intersected in order to start to understand the spirit of reproductive justice.
Links from this episode
In Our Own Voice Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalblackrj/
In Our Own Voice Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlackwomensRJ
The State of Black Women & Reproductive Justice: http://blackrj.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/FINAL-InOurVoices_Report_final.pdf