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


To Be Pro-Choice, You Must Have the Privilege of Having Choices

April 11, 2022
By Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

As a queer woman who grew up in North Carolina, I learned at an early age that my Blackness could be a source of great joy — but it could also pose a threat to my safety and autonomy.

In middle school, white boys laid their hands on me without my consent when I sharpened my pencil. To travel through town, I had to pass a building dedicated to Senator Jesse Helms, a champion of modern-day anti-abortion laws. It was all a daily reminder of the tight grip that whiteness had on my full liberation. I did not consent to that either.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/11/opinion/abortion-black-brown-women.html


Mexico – Free Abortion Across Borders

Following Mexico’s Supreme Court ruling to decriminalize abortion, feminists in the country continue to help people access care. Their work can serve as a model for US activists navigating the limits of state health services.

BY ZOÉ VANGELDER
FEBRUARY 4, 2022

This story originally appeared in Dissent on Oct. 13, 2021, and is shared with permission via the Progressive International’s Wire.

Crystal, an abortion acompañante from Mexico, has a green bandana attached to her backpack that signals her involvement in the marea verde, the “green wave” of reproductive rights activism gaining momentum throughout Latin America. In her bag she carries pamphlets from the Tijuana Safe Abortion Network and Las Bloodys, the feminist collective she helped found. Designed to fold up into a neat rectangle that slips discreetly into a back pocket, the pamphlets provide details for how to self-administer an abortion safely, avoiding legal and medical risks.

Crystal clarified that aborto libre didn’t just mean free of charge; it also means free as in liberated, free from stigma, free from medicalized control and legal restrictions, free for pregnant people to make the best decision for themselves.

Continued: https://therealnews.com/free-abortion-across-borders


Linking Voter Suppression and Abortion Restrictions: “If We Lose Voting Rights, We Lose Women’s Rights”

A combination of legal restrictions on voting and abortion, physical violence and intimidation tactics have emerged again during a time of renewed challenges to white male supremacy.

5/7/2021
by CARRIE N. BAKER

In the first four months of 2021, Republican lawmakers introduced over 360 bills to restrict voting rights and 536 bills to restrict abortion rights. The defeat of Donald Trump, and Biden’s attempts to dismantle Trump’s white supremacist agenda, have inspired a fevered campaign by state-level Republican lawmakers of voter suppression and abortion restrictions. While at first glance these efforts might appear to be unrelated, they are deeply connected, says Smith College professor Loretta Ross.

“The right-wing has an intersectional agenda. Their whole plan is to maintain a white majority by whatever means possible. So that requires them to try to socially engineer white women into having more babies and to restrict voting rights and immigrant rights,” Ross told Ms.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/05/07/voter-suppression-abortion-restrictions-womens-rights/


SCOTUS Issued a Blow to Abortion Pills by Mail, But Advocates Aren’t Giving Up

Reproductive justice activists are urging Biden to back access to abortion pills after a setback from the Supreme Court.

BY Amy Littlefield, Truthout
January 22, 2021

There has been a quiet revolution in access to abortion pills in the United States over the past six months — and whether it continues depends on the new Biden-Harris administration.

Last July, a federal court suspended a rule that requires patients to go to a health center in person to pick up mifepristone, the first pill in a two-step process for medication abortion. The court sided with SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, allowing providers to mail mifepristone during the COVID-19 pandemic. But on January 12, the Supreme Court reinstated the rules, leaving in doubt the future of a landscape which advocates like Elisa Wells, co-founder of the medication abortion advocacy group Plan C, had rapidly begun to put in place.

Continued: https://truthout.org/articles/scotus-issued-a-blow-to-abortion-pills-by-mail-but-advocates-arent-giving-up/


Supreme Court Grants Trump Administration Request to Endanger Abortion Patients During the Pandemic

In its First Abortion Decision Since Justice Barrett’s Confirmation, the Court Allowed the Trump Administration to Subject Abortion Patients to Needless Covid-19 Risk

JANUARY 12, 2021
American Civil Liberties Union

WASHINGTON — In its first ruling on abortion with Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the bench, the Supreme Court today reinstated a federal policy that requires patients seeking a medication used for early abortion care to incur unnecessary COVID-19 risks by traveling to a health center for the sole purpose of picking up a pill and signing a form.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy requires patients seeking mifepristone to pick up the pill in person at a hospital, clinic, or medical office, even when the patient has already been evaluated by a clinician using telehealth or at a prior in-person visit and will be receiving no medical services at the time. During the pandemic, this travel exposes patients to needless COVID-19 risks relating to transportation, childcare, and other interpersonal contact. With today’s decision from the Supreme Court, the in-person pill pick-up requirement will go back into effect immediately.

Continued:  https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/supreme-court-grants-trump-administration-request-endanger-abortion-patients-during


USA – Telemedicine abortion is here to stay

By Carrie N. Baker

Published: 12/23/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming many aspects of our lives, and
abortion is no exception. Telemedicine is expanding access to abortion health
care in ways that are likely to persist long after the pandemic is over.

Telemedicine abortion combines medication abortion — which uses pills to end a
pregnancy — and telemedicine — which allows health providers to supervise the
use of abortion pills via videoconferencing or telephone consultations.

Continued: https://www.gazettenet.com/Baker-column-37937013


USA – Medication Abortion Access Is About to Radically Change

Monday's ruling could be the first step in making medication abortion easier—and safe—to access.

Jul 15, 2020
Jessica Mason Pieklo

Medication abortion access just got a little easier and safer for patients during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s about damn time, and it should stay this way forever.

A federal judge in Maryland issued an order on Monday blocking the Trump administration from enforcing a restriction that prevents patients from accessing medication abortion without a doctor’s visit, on the grounds that it likely unduly burdens abortion rights in the middle of a pandemic.

Continued:  https://rewire.news/article/2020/07/15/medication-abortion-access-is-about-to-radically-change/


Forging A New Path Toward Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Forging A New Path Toward Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

January 31, 2019
By Sarah Barnes & Elizabeth Wang

"The Guttmacher-Lancet Commission could not come at a better time,” said Patricia Da Silva, Associate Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation United Nations Liaison Office. “It is indeed the call to action that is required; showing us that comprehensive sexual and reproductive rights must be ensured for all.” She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event on the work of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The Commission, an international collaboration of 16 SRHR experts from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, recently published a report, Accelerate Progress—Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All, which makes concrete recommendations for countries to address SRHR gaps and inequalities.

Continued: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2019/01/forging-path-universal-sexual-reproductive-health-rights/