If this doesn’t inspire you about the issue of Reproductive Justice, I don’t know what will. Sonya Renee’s poem is amazing because it demonstrates the complexities of abortion rights, how social and economic injustices are inextricably tied up in the issue. She reveals the hollowness of the anti-abortion movement’s rhetoric that to be pro-life is to somehow be pro-woman. Her language is powerful, in a hits-you-in-the-gut, sends-shivers-down-your-spine kind of way.
Sometimes, it is easy to reside in a bubble–for me, studying at a women’s college in Manhattan, a place where a support of abortion is assumed to be a given–and not fully realize the extent to which women’s reproductive rights are under siege around the country. In Colorado right now, for instance, there is an amendment that will shortly be voted on which seeks to legally define a fertilized egg as a person, with all the attendant rights (more on this topic shortly). What the Reproductive Justice movement reminds us is that while abortion is technically legal in the United States, not all women have equal access to reproductive health services, and any analysis of reproductive rights must be done with an eye to other existing economic and social inequalities.
On Wednesday, there will be a day long conference called Critical Intersections: Reproductive and Economic Justice, which is organized by the New York Women’s Foundation and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. If you are interested in this event, click here for more information. It will be held at Barnard College in New York (117th and Broadway).