Reproductive Justice: An Introduction

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Reproductive Justice is a first-of-its-kind primer that provides a comprehensive yet succinct description of the field. Written by two legendary scholar-activists, Reproductive Justice introduces students to an intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender politics. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger put the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book and use a human rights analysis to show how the discussion around reproductive justice differs significantly from the pro-choice/anti-abortion debates that have long dominated the headlines and mainstream political conflict. Arguing that reproductive justice is a political movement of reproductive rights and social justice, the authors illuminate, for example, the complex web of structural obstacles a low-income, physically disabled woman living in West Texas faces as she contemplates her sexual and reproductive intentions. In a period in which women’s reproductive lives are imperiled, Reproductive Justice provides an essential guide to understanding and mobilizing around women’s human rights in the twenty-first century.
“Controlling reproduction and the bodies of women seems to be the first step in every hierarchy. That’s why reproductive justice—women having power over our own bodies—is the crucial first step toward any democracy, any human rights, and any justice.” — Gloria Steinem

“Now more than ever, as reproductive autonomy and the rights of people of color are under attack, we at Planned Parenthood know our fates are intertwined. The reproductive justice movement—which comes directly from the expertise and the lived experience of women of color—illuminated a path forward to hold the line on the rights we have won and to expand the rights of all people. We need to know the history laid out in Reproductive Justice, because we need to not repeat the ugliness of the past. Our strategies need to be inclusive and intersectional, because when women of color and those most affected by reproductive oppression are free to make their own decisions about their health and their bodies, we all win. None of us are free until we’re all free.”— Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“This book provides illuminating insights that could come only from a collaboration between two longtime and leading scholar-activists. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger explain with brilliant clarity not only what reproductive justice means, but also how reproductive oppression and resistance are central to U.S. history, as well as to contemporary laws, policies, and politics. Their analysis of the reproductive justice framework is more urgent than ever. Essential reading for everyone interested in reproductive freedom, social justice, and human rights.” — Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

“A wonderful new primer. Ross and Solinger have written a simultaneously sophisticated and accessible book for scholars, students, activists, and practitioners.” — Patrick Anderson, University of California, San Diego