It’s officially February all, the long national nightmare of January has ended! And we’ve emerged from the below zero degrees weather to … 8-degree weather. The Reproductive Health Care Act in New York has PASSED and much like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it is causing people on the other side to have a legit MELTDOWN.
Now that it is February 1st it is the first day of Black History Month. So we wanted to talk to you a little bit about the difference between reproductive justice and reproductive rights. Often these terms get thrown around and are used interchangeably but they shouldn’t be and it’s important to understand the differences! LPJL is a reproductive rights organization that centers abortion access and works to end abortion stigma. That means the framework which we come into our work is first to make sure pregnant people have legal access to reproductive health care options, especially abortion. We advocate for this in all communities especially marginalized communities that don’t have the resources to do so at the political level – whether local, state or federal.
Reproductive Justice (RJ) is a framework created by women of color in 1994 to address the inequalities that reproductive rights leaders, typically white women, didn’t center or experience. RJ is not singularly focused but rather more encompassing and highlights the challenges women of color and vulnerable communities face at all stages of their reproductive health from birth control, pregnancy, abortion, and sexual freedom. It truly centers the people most affected by the stigma around abortion and oppressive laws and lifts up their stories, amplifying the voices from those communities and works to change society so all humans can have self-determination, which takes time and continued organizing.
As an organization run by white women, we’re also aware that we have blind spots and that we can always be doing MORE to amplify other voices. So we are excited to announce that throughout the month of February we will be interviewing prominent leaders and total badass organizers from the reproductive justice movement. EVERY THURSDAY you’ll get an interview and there might be a few bonus ones peppered throughout the month too. We hope to talk about the state of reproductive justice in 2019.
Let us know if there are any questions you really want us to address! And consider donating to some great reproductive justice orgs this month like SisterSong or Access Reproductive Care Southeast!