What is Reproductive Justice?

If reproductive rights and social justice had a baby (or chose not to)…

Key Takeaways

  • The reproductive justice movement believes that all people should have the option to have children, not have children, or raise families in safe and sustainable communities. 

  • Beyond pro-choice vs. pro-life, reproductive justice focuses on expanding access to pregnancy services and sexual health for marginalized people.

  • Reproductive justice focuses on how oppression acts across different issues and identities—not just through gender.

What is Reproductive Justice

Isn’t that like reproductive rights or being pro-choice?

Reproductive rights and pro-choice movements focus on the legal status of abortion, or “my body, my choice” as a human right. For reproductive advocates, this is only the start. Even when abortion is legal, many people cannot afford to pay or travel long distances to the closest abortion clinic. So though a policy may be pro-choice, in practice disadvantaged populations can’t make decisions about their health without proper access to services.

What issues are involved?

Beyond abortion access, many people also struggle to reach birth control, sexually transmitted infection prevention and care, alternative ways of giving birth, prenatal and pregnancy care, domestic violence assistance and good sex education (yeah, abstinence-only “education” won’t cut it). 

Reproductive justice is concerned with all kinds of barriers to healthcare access, such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and religious discrimination. Financial constraints, housing and the criminal justice system also impact how people access reproductive care. 

Who is involved?

A group of black women gave birth to the reproductive justice movement in the ‘90s. The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective in the United States was formed by women of color organizations.


Outside the Huddle


Reviewed by Geetika Rao, MPH | Edited by Jared Dashevsky, M.Eng