What Is Reproductive Justice?

if you think about the the combining of
reproductive health and rights with social justice, you develop a
construct called reproductive justice. Reproductive justice started as a
analytical — as a framework, as a movement, right? But in 1994 several black women
really actually coined the term. And it really started off thinking about sex
associated with reproduction, right, produces a pregnancy. And so what are the
rights of that person? It is a human rights-based theory and praxis that
posits four very important things. People have the right to create family and to
create kin in the ways that they see fit. What are
the options available to you if you choose to get pregnant and to birth, right,
birthing shouldn’t really be totally in the hands of OBGYNs and I say that as an
OBGYN, right? So how do you think about the birth workforce and the birth
support team. They have a right to prevent and/or end pregnancy if that’s something that they need to do for themselves and their families. What to do
if you want to end the pregnancy and how do you do that with dignity and safety
and respect. They have a right to parent with dignity, without manipulation and
coercion or violence from any individual or from the state. People who currently
have children, what are the supports and services and accommodations that the
community and the government are accountable to our community to ensure
that people can continue to parent their children the way they want to, in the
family composition that they choose. They have a right to disassociate sex from
reproduction, which i think is really important because then that affords us
opportunities to have discussions around consent, healthy sexuality, pleasure. And RJ [reproductive justice] opens all of that up so that we really think about options and power and
autonomy, and not control constraint or coercion.


  1. Love this! How can we get involved in this work? I’m looking to make the professional pivot to reproductive justice/birth equity! Seeing this video revitalizes me—thanks for sharing!

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