Resources compiled by The National Network of Abortion Funds
It is important to recognize the connections between systems of oppression as we're shifting the conversation about abortion, and ensuring it’s a real option, accessible without shame or judgment and framed within the broader context of life. Whether carrying a pregnancy to term, having an abortion or parenting the children one already has, seeking abortion is one of those moments where folks who are experiencing racism and economic injustices see those forms of oppression magnified.
Communities of color face racial discrimination, and families are fearful for the lives of children harmed and killed by state violence. Schools and housing are divided unjustly, and not all children have the resources to get the comprehensive health care they need, especially as our federal government decimates access to health care for the most vulnerable in our communities. When many of us are not being paid a living wage, when we don’t have paid time off to spend taking care of our well-being and our family’s health, and when we are struggling to make ends meet around every paycheck, we are less able to make pregnancy decisions free from coercion. When families are fully cared for and networks can help care for all, we will be stronger. That’s why it’s so important for a comprehensive vision of justice to include working towards economic, racial, gender, and reproductive justice.
Reproductive justice is a framework and approach started and led by women of color, specifically Black women, because abortion rights or pro-choice framework doesn’t nearly account for the many ways in which institutions, cultural norms, and systems of oppression form an apparatus of control over people’s bodies and decisions, especially for people of color and people affected by economic injustice. We look to SisterSong and other reproductive justice organizations for leadership.
Explore these links, and the multimedia syllabus, below.
- Forward Together (formerly Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice) on Reproductive Rights vs. Reproductive Health vs. Reproductive Justice
- Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED talk on intersectionality
- Dorothy Roberts' TED talk on health disparities and race-based medicine
Readings & viewings
- SisterSong: “What is Reproductive Justice?”
- Loretta Ross video: “Reproductive Justice 101”
- Audre Lorde: "The Master’s Tools will Never Dismantle the Master’s House"
- Audre Lorde: “There is no Hierarchy of Oppressions”
- Brené Brown, video: TED Talk on Vulnerability (and/or animation about Empathy)
- Willie Parker interview, audio: “Doctor Performs Abortions ‘Because I’m a Christian”
- Alexis Pauline Gumbs, video: “Revolutionary Mothering”
- bell hooks, longer read, “Feminism is for Everybody”
- Gloria Anzaldua, longer read, “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza” (1987)
- Marilyn Frye, longer read: The Politics of Reality (1983)
- Steven Universe, animated, child-friendly musical video about difficult conversations: “Here Comes a Thought”
- Kimberle Crenshaw, longer read: “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color”
- Catherine Gonzales’ Bitch Media Article: “For Undocumented Women Seeking Reproductive Healthcare, Policing and Politics Create a Maze of Barriers”
- Political Research Associates comprehensive report: “Defending Reproductive Justice”
- Angela Davis, free zine: “Lectures on Liberation”
Additional Resources: Continually Updated