Dorothy Roberts on reproductive justice: ‘Abortion isn’t the only focus’

The scholar discusses why the movement needs to bring reproductive justice out of the margins and into the center

Marian Jones
Sun 28 Aug 2022

For many women of color, the right to control one’s reproductive destiny has always been about much more than the right to abortion.

With the recent loss of the constitutional right to abortion in the US, some reproductive rights advocates are calling for a renewed focus on reproductive justice, a concept developed in the early 1990s by women of color. Reproductive justice stresses not just the right to abortion, but also economic, racial and environmental justice, along with other facets of social equality, as critical to true reproductive freedom.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/28/reproductive-freedom-abortion-rights-dorothy-roberts-interview


Abortion ‘desert’ in US south is hurting Black women the most

Ten million Black women in the US face high barriers to abortion access, that will be difficult to overcome for many.

By Taylor Johnson and Kelsey Butler
23 Aug 2022

In the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, an abortion desert has ballooned in the US South, where bans are hitting Black women hardest.

Across the country Black patients have an abortion rate roughly four times that of their White peers, in part due to lower use of contraception that leads to higher rates of unintended pregnancies. In the states that have moved quickly to enact restrictions, Black women make up a far larger proportion of abortion seekers than in places where abortion remains legal.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/23/abortion-desert-in-us-south-is-hurting-black-women-the-most


USA – Black women say they are invisible in abortion rights fight. ‘We are still forgotten within all of this’

By Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN
Sat July 9, 2022

For many Black women, the reversal of Roe v. Wade last month not only stripped them of bodily autonomy, but created another barrier to economic security and choosing the course of their future.

For 49 years, women have had the right to terminate a pregnancy without needing to justify it, giving some a chance to pursue their educational goals, career aspirations and start families when they were in stable situations.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/09/us/abortion-stories-black-women-reaj/index.html


In abortion debate, echoes of another battle: Reproductive rights for Black women

by Akilah Johnson
June 10, 2022

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Nailah Nicolas stood in the late-afternoon Southern sun at a park dedicated to three enslaved Black women who suffered torturous experiments to advance the field of gynecology.

That day, hanging heavy in the air surrounding the soaring steel monuments to Anarcha, Lucy and Betsey was the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision in an abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.

Continued (unblocked): https://wapo.st/3MAxArG
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/06/10/abortion-reproductive-rights-black-women/


Black Women Have Much at Stake in States Where Abortion Access May Vanish

By Blake Farmer, Nashville Public Radio
JUNE 3, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — “Adulting” was not going great for Tia Freeman. She had lost her scholarship at the University of Tennessee and enlisted in the Air Force. As she finished training to be an analyst, she got pregnant despite being on birth control.

Both her parents worked, so the child care they could provide was limited. Day care would have eaten most of her paycheck. And even at age 20, Freeman knew that as a Black woman she would have more difficulty climbing the economic ladder than some other women would.

Continued: https://khn.org/news/article/black-women-abortion-access-south/


USA – Harassment at Abortion Clinics Is Already Bad. It’s Worse When You’re Black.

We need to explicitly name white supremacy and racism as the core drivers of abortion bans and restrictions, as well as violence and harassment.

Apr 21, 2022
MiQuel Davies, Rewire News

Abortion providers and people accessing abortion care are at high risk of violence and harassment. We know this from the well-documented history of providers being murdered, clinics dealing with arson and regular hate mail, and protesters stationed daily outside many abortion clinics, where they harass providers and patients.

What we don’t always talk about—or name explicitly—is that the violence and harassment faced by patients and providers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color is often heightened and racialized. At Physicians for Reproductive Health, we know this is true from the countless experiences of physicians in our network as well as those working day to day on the ground, especially in hostile states. Unfortunately, this reality is often dismissed or minimized in an attempt to disassociate racism and white supremacy from attacks on abortion rights.
Continued: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/article/2022/04/21/harassment-at-abortion-clinics-is-already-bad-its-worse-when-youre-black/


Black women fear the steady rise in abortion restrictions across the US will worsen maternal health crisis

By Maya Brown, CNN
Sun April 17, 2022

(CNN) Mckayla Wilkes remembers repeatedly complaining of shortness of breath to her doctors during her entire pregnancy seven years ago.

But she says no one listened. Her concerns were consistently dismissed or minimized while she was pregnant with her daughter, Madison, who is now 6.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/17/us/abortion-restrictions-black-maternal-health/index.html


As Oklahoma and Idaho enact abortion restrictions, Black women will suffer the most

BY AMIAH TAYLOR
April 13, 2022

On April 12, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill that makes it a felony—punishable by up to 10 years in prison—to perform an abortion, excluding cases where there is a high risk of pregnancy-related death. The bill is just the latest example of the steady rise in restrictive measures across the U.S. that limit women’s access to abortions, especially for Black women, who are five times more likely to have an abortion than their white counterparts.

“States that enact restrictions on abortion access are not interested in supporting families, but rather in controlling the reproductive lives of women and birthing people—especially Black women and other people of color,” said Kamyon Conner, executive director of Texas Equal Access (TEA) Fund, a reproductive justice nonprofit.

Continued: https://fortune.com/2022/04/13/state-abortion-restrictions-black-women-reproductive-maternal-care/


USA – Minority women most affected if abortion is banned, limited

Feb. 1, 2022
By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS and LEAH WILLINGHAM
The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — If you are Black or Hispanic in a conservative state that already limits access to abortions, you are far more likely than a white woman to have one.

And if the U.S. Supreme Court allows states to further restrict or even ban abortions, minority women will bear the brunt of it, according to statistics analyzed by The Associated Press.

Continued: https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/minority-women-most-affected-if-abortion-is-banned-limited/


USA – Abortion and the Politicization of Black Women’s Bodies

Feb. 1, 2022
Jilisa R. Milton

The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021, heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization amidst outrage by reproductive rights advocates. Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy blatantly defies the court’s precedent setting the abortion limit at around 24 weeks. There is worry that Mississippi’s law will be upheld by the majority of justices, leading to the overruling of Roe v. Wade.

Since the right to abortion in Roe was first established by the court, the politics around abortion have drastically changed. Today the religious right is perceived as a strong political movement against abortion rights, while in the past, the issue of limiting abortion was perceived as a “Catholic issue” that most other denominations generally did not consider a widely Christian stance.

Continued: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/abortion-and-the-politicization-of-black-womens-bodies