WHAT IS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE?
Reproductive justice (RJ) is a movement guided by the belief that real choice and control over ourselves and our bodies is achieved when we have the power and resources to make our own decisions. RJ seeks to build space in which individuals have access to the rights and resources they need to create the families they want. Furthermore, it recognizes that the fight for reproductive freedom is linked to the struggles for immigrant, worker, and queer rights; economic and environmental justice; an end to violence against women and girls; and access to health care and education that affirms our identities and our bodies.
The three basic tenets of reproductive justice include:
- the right to have children and to decide how many and under what conditions you give birth
- the right to not have children
- the right to parent one’s own children in safe & healthy environments
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE?
The reproductive justice movement was born out of the need to connect reproductive health and rights, social justice, and human rights. It was led by women of color who understood that reproductive rights issues encompass more than access to abortion. They also recognized that people have many identities, some of which grant or deny privilege, and that these identities are all connected.
WHAT ARE THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE?
ICAH operates from a framework that both challenges reproductive justice to grow in its focus and inclusivity while remaining rooted in its guiding principles:
Developing Leaders for Tomorrow
Nearly half of the world’s population is under the age of 18, and they make up 100% of the future. ICAH believes it's critical to increase opportunities for youth decision-making and leadership within systems that impact their reproductive health and freedom. We commit to supporting existing leadership while developing the abilities of young people to become the reproductive justice leaders of the next generation. We believe leadership development is a deliberate, long-term process; leaders are cultivated rather than born.
Our lived experiences make us experts in our bodies, genders, sexualities, families, lives, and communities. We trust that all people have the inherent strength to know what’s best for themselves, their families, and their communities. We believe that increasing access to sexual healthcare, resources, and education allows young people to make truly informed decisions about their lives. We support self-determination and the full expression of all identities at every stage of life.
Organizing to Build Power
Organizing is a vital strategy for creating and maintaining social change. Reproductive justice utilizes grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, and alliances to build a strong base of support. ICAH supports diverse networks of empowered youth and allies to create sustainable change. As a movement, we are most powerful when we include all communities and harness youth talents, skills, thought, leadership, and confidence.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE?
Forward Together provides a framework for thinking about reproductive health, rights, and justice and stresses the importance of integrating all three strategies into the fight for human rights and reproductive freedom.
Other reproductive justice movements and organizations in the US:
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
The Native Youth Sexual Health Network
SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
SisterSong member organizations
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW