In 1994, a group of Black women gathered in Chicago to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women, families, and communities, before attending the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. These women named themselves Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice, and RJ was born.
SisterSong, a Southern-based Reproductive Justice collective composed of communities of color, defines Reproductive Justice as “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” This robust definition goes beyond the common definition of reproductive rights, understood strictly as family planning or access to abortion.
“The U.S. Constitution, first of all, can’t handle intersectionality … Secondly, they don’t talk about the right to economic security or freedom from violence or housing or education. None of that is in the U.S. Constitution. It’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as defined by white, slave-owning men. It’s a very impudent document, in my mind, for achieving and protecting our human rights.”
~ Loretta Ross, Co-founder, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
The History of Reproductive Justice – In Our Own Voice, National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Also in this section: