Sharing frustration about the global reproductive health status of Black women and the limitations of a privacy-based “pro-choice” movement when women of color had minimal choices, Black women adopted a human rights framework that addressed issues of bodily autonomy and freedom with reproductive decision-making. Incorporating human rights, social justice and reproductive rights tenets, these women created a transformational and grassroots-based movement for social change – its name – Reproductive Justice.
As a long-term change strategy in the lives of Black women, Reproductive Justice requires sustained resources, commitment and momentum. As organizations and individuals, we have worked tirelessly for the last two decades for the reproductive rights, health and justice of Black women. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a next step in expanding and enhancing a national movement to amplify the voices of Black women on issues of reproductive rights and health.
For us, Reproductive Justice is the human right to control our bodies, our sexuality, our gender, our work and our reproduction. While In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda focuses on abortion rights and access, contraceptive equity and comprehensive sex education as our key policy issues, we do so using the Reproductive Justice frame. As a Reproductive Justice initiative, we approach these reproductive rights and health issues from a human rights perspective, incorporating the intersections of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and gender identity with the situational impacts of economics, politics and culture that make up the lived experiences of Black women in this country.
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