Decentering “Choice”:  Moving from Abortion Rights to Reproductive Justice and a Multiracial Framework Beverly Yuen Thomps...
Overview  <ul><li>The pro-choice framework </li></ul><ul><li>The reproductive justice framework </li></ul><ul><li>Common i...
Pro-choice framework <ul><li>Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) birth control advocate, pro-eugenics, founder of American Birth C...
Pro-choice Historical Narrative <ul><li>From female midwives to the American Medical Association (AMA) </li></ul><ul><li>N...
Contemporary abortion issues: legal but restricted <ul><li>Between 1.3 & 1.5m abortions performed </li></ul><ul><li>14% of...
The pro-choice movement: MCAP video <ul><li>Defending a Choice for Women clinic in Miami  </li></ul><ul><li>In respond to ...
Reproductive Justice framework:  intersectional and human rights <ul><li>1. The right to have a child </li></ul><ul><li>2....
Global context:  Maternal & infant death rates
World Health Report 2005 <ul><li>Pregnancy and childbirth and their consequences are still the leading cause of death, dis...
<ul><li>“ Consider this history—from slave masters’ economic stake in bonded women’s fertility to the racist strains of ea...
Reproductive Justice Loretta Ross of Sistersong
Reproductive Justice: Umbrella issues <ul><li>HIV/AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Culturally/linguistically sensitive health care <...
Common issues &  Building alliances <ul><li>Reduce barriers to abortion and reproductive health care access (repeal Hyde A...
Examples of successful collaboration <ul><li>SisterSong participated in March for Women’s Lives, April 25 th , 2004, bring...
Discussion Questions  <ul><li>What are strategies for expanding the abortion rights movement to be more inclusive of women...
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Decentering Choice Reproductive Justice

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Moving from the second wave feminist pro-choice narrative to a grassroots alliance of human rights organization working towards an encompasing healthcare movement that centers healthy reproductive choices.

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Decentering Choice Reproductive Justice

  1. 1. Decentering “Choice”: Moving from Abortion Rights to Reproductive Justice and a Multiracial Framework Beverly Yuen Thompson, Ph.D. Texas Woman’s University, Denton Women’s Studies Program Gender Studies Symposium Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR March 11-13, 2009.
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The pro-choice framework </li></ul><ul><li>The reproductive justice framework </li></ul><ul><li>Common interests </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of successful collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion: future models for organizing? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Pro-choice framework <ul><li>Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) birth control advocate, pro-eugenics, founder of American Birth Control League (later Planned Parenthood) </li></ul><ul><li>Second wave feminist movement for birth control and legal abortion </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary legalistic framework for privacy and individual rights (keep abortion safe, lessen restrictions, provide sex education) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Pro-choice Historical Narrative <ul><li>From female midwives to the American Medical Association (AMA) </li></ul><ul><li>New laws based on British common law, banning abortion after quickening </li></ul><ul><li>1821-first abortion law in Connecticut; by 1890, every state had regulations </li></ul>
  5. 5. Contemporary abortion issues: legal but restricted <ul><li>Between 1.3 & 1.5m abortions performed </li></ul><ul><li>14% of US counties have an abortion provider </li></ul><ul><li>24 hour waiting period </li></ul><ul><li>Parental consent </li></ul><ul><li>Informed of abortion impact, fetal development </li></ul><ul><li>Required sonograms </li></ul><ul><li>Only 12% of obgyn medical programs require abortion training </li></ul><ul><li>2/3 of providers over age 65 </li></ul><ul><li>Abstinence only education </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pharmacists for Life” (19 states) </li></ul>
  6. 6. The pro-choice movement: MCAP video <ul><li>Defending a Choice for Women clinic in Miami </li></ul><ul><li>In respond to pro-life protests outside clinics, feminists respond with clinic defenders and escorts to protect women </li></ul>
  7. 7. Reproductive Justice framework: intersectional and human rights <ul><li>1. The right to have a child </li></ul><ul><li>2. The right not to have a child </li></ul><ul><li>3. The right to parent the children we have; as well as control our birthing options, such as midwifery </li></ul><ul><li>Cairo 1994 ICPD </li></ul><ul><li>Framework of history of reproductive oppression, especially of women of color </li></ul><ul><li>Global issues </li></ul><ul><li>SisterSong collective </li></ul><ul><li>Movement building (root causes of oppression) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Global context: Maternal & infant death rates
  9. 9. World Health Report 2005 <ul><li>Pregnancy and childbirth and their consequences are still the leading cause of death, disease and disability among women of reproductive age in developing countries </li></ul><ul><li>529,000 women die each year </li></ul><ul><li>Maternal mortality is highest by far in Africa, lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 16, compared with 1 in 2,800 in rich countries </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 1% of maternal deaths occur in high-income countries </li></ul><ul><li>More than 50% of all child deaths occur in just six countries: China, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Pakistan </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>“ Consider this history—from slave masters’ economic stake in bonded women’s fertility to the racist strains of early birth control policies to sterilization abuse of Black women during the 1960s and 1970s to the current campaign to inject Norplant and Depo-Provera in the arms of Black teenagers and welfare mothers—paints a powerful picture of the link between race and reproductive freedom in America.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>--Dorothy Roberts 1997 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>Reproductive Justice Historical Narrative
  11. 11. Reproductive Justice Loretta Ross of Sistersong
  12. 12. Reproductive Justice: Umbrella issues <ul><li>HIV/AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Culturally/linguistically sensitive health care </li></ul><ul><li>Family court prioritize keeping families together </li></ul><ul><li>Right to legal abortion </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive sex education </li></ul><ul><li>Increase inmates’ time and access to children </li></ul><ul><li>Prison health care </li></ul><ul><li>Family leave from work </li></ul><ul><li>Less environmental hazards </li></ul><ul><li>End sex trafficking </li></ul><ul><li>Repeal the Hyde Amendment </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom from violence </li></ul><ul><li>Financial ability to raise a child </li></ul><ul><li>Safe and affordable birth control </li></ul><ul><li>Fight anti-immigrant discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Universal health care </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable pharmaceuticals </li></ul><ul><li>No involuntary sterilization </li></ul><ul><li>Welfare rights </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable child care </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable reproductive technologies </li></ul>
  13. 13. Common issues & Building alliances <ul><li>Reduce barriers to abortion and reproductive health care access (repeal Hyde Amendment, 24-hour waiting period, mandatory sonograms, parental consent, more abortion providers) </li></ul><ul><li>Universal health care </li></ul><ul><li>Obama Repealed Global Gag Rule </li></ul><ul><li>Build movements for Reproductive Justice </li></ul>
  14. 14. Examples of successful collaboration <ul><li>SisterSong participated in March for Women’s Lives, April 25 th , 2004, bringing women of color to the center of focus. </li></ul><ul><li>(Originally focused on abortion rights only) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Discussion Questions <ul><li>What are strategies for expanding the abortion rights movement to be more inclusive of women of color, immigrants, poor, queer and disabled women? </li></ul><ul><li>What are examples of successful multiracial feminist collaboration(s)? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we have a fresh strategy that catches the opponents off guard, especially considered the new Democratic President? </li></ul>

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