Reproductive Justice is Life or Death
A Black woman is 2.6 times more likely than a white woman to die during childbirth.
I participated in an allocations committee for the Boston Women’s Fund, a Massachusetts fund that advocates and invests in girls, women, and gender expansive individuals, including an annual movement-building grant. The movement-building focus area for the 2023 cycle is reproductive justice.
“Movement building starts with a shared vision focused on systems change where a collective addresses concerns and creates opportunities that no person, organization, or institution can alone.” - Boston Women’s Fund.
I went into the opportunity ignorant of the intersectionality of reproductive justice. My mind went to abortion rights or the right to choose. I didn’t consider imprisoned women and their gynecological needs or care. I didn’t envision a woman's life and how our reproductive systems evolve along with us.
“Reproductive Justice is the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities” - Sister Song.
In 1808, transporting Africans to enslavement in the USA was outlawed; the British had forbidden the transatlantic slave trade two years earlier. Only 6% of enslaved Africans arrived in North America, and most went to the Caribbean and South America. Yet at the time of the emancipation proclamation, 3.5 million enslaved Africans were impacted. Enslavers bred Black women. Women like me were bred for their children to arrive into slavery. That realization was a hard one for me.
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