Why we need Reproductive Justice

3 mins read
"Reproductive Justice" by New Voices. Public Domain.

I was on a panel this morning and I’ve been mad about something that happened for a few hours, so I’m going to go ahead and tweet it out.

The panel was about how attacks on bodily autonomy are an attack on our democracy. It was all women of color on the panel, all of whom spoke extensively about reproductive justice and attacks on their communities.

Black women on the panel talked about maternal mortality rates and ecological destruction in their communities, including not being able to access clean water.

I spoke extensively about reproductive injustices in the immigration system- the ways that families are separated & the ways young people in ORR custody were blocked from accessing abortion care. I also discussed Cloee Cooper’s research on “sanctuaries for the unborn.”

During the Q&A, a white woman did the “this is more of a statement than a question” thing. She wanted to express her disappointment that we didn’t talk about abortion enough, and asked us to promise to work “side-by-side” (or some shit) leading to the election.

I wanted to scream. This is why so many of us don’t fuck with the mainstream reproductive rights movement, why we don’t fuck with white feminism, and why reproductive justice is for us.

The thing is: We did talk about repro and abortion, just not the way she wanted to hear about it. She didn’t want to hear about immigrants in detention being blocked from accessing abortion care. Didn’t want to hear about Black women dying giving birth.

Didn’t want to hear about counties in the rural south passing ordinances to make accessing care harder. No. She wanted to hear about how abortion bans hurt white women like her, and didn’t give a fuck about the reproductive justice framework.

Like, when we all pushed back on her in our responses, she played with her phone.

I’m obviously still mad and gotta catch a plane. BUT IN SUMMATION: This is why so many of us don’t fuck with y’all.

Originally posted on Twitter. Re-posted with permission.

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Movement research. Movement journalism. Assistant research director,
Political Research Associates.

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