All that stuff I wrote tonight about choice and access to justice….those are not my own original thoughts. Not at all.
First, if you want to know more about the reproductive justice framework, Sister Song explains it beautifully:
The reproductive justice framework – the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments — is based on the human right to make personal decisions about one’s life, and the obligation of government and society to ensure that the conditions are suitable for implementing one’s decisions is important for women of color.
It represents a shift for women advocating for control of their bodies, from a narrower focus on legal access and individual choice (the focus of mainstream organizations) to a broader analysis of racial, economic, cultural, and structural constraints on our power.
Reproductive Justice addresses the social reality of inequality, specifically, the inequality of opportunities that we have to control our reproductive destiny. Our options for making choices have to be safe, affordable and accessible, three minimal cornerstones of government support for all individual life decisions.
[NB: more people than just cis women want and need access to reproductive health care.]
I also owe thanks to Suzy X., who has tweeted/written about this many times. But there was one time in particular where she was airing her frustration with the way the narrative of choice disassociates the individual from larger forces, from society, from systemic issues. I didn’t really get what she was saying at the time but I knew it made me uncomfortable in the best way. I get it now.
That is basically the most incomplete list I’ve ever written because there are so many reproductive justice people that I follow on Twitter and read on Tumblr who have so fundamentally changed how I think about these issues……but it’s late and I am exhausted from working the abortion fund shift and my brain is on shut down.
Anyhow. Thank you all who push me and push the people in the movement to be more inclusive, to look beyond themselves, to open their minds and their hearts, and to be better people. It saddens me how often the movement and people in it - me included - fail. But I think…I hope the narrative is slowly changing.
Choice is necessary. Justice, though, must be our ultimate goal.
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