Introducing the Feminist Dossier on Reproductive Justice

One of the reasons that people access our blog is to read and hear about academic work that is written for broad audiences. Our blogs can be used in classrooms and by activists, artists, scholars, and practitioners who are looking to engage feminist issues and access new research. With this in mind, we’re introducing a new series called the “Feminist Dossier” (inspired by Radical Philosophy’s dossiers!) that is focused on a specific theme. Our first was on Feminist Cities: an audio conversation followed by two organization spotlights and a critical look at safety from a Visiting Scholar at the Uni of Edinburgh.

Today we’re introducing a new dossier on “Reproductive Justice” broadly framed. It showcases the activism and scholarship of the speakers on our roundtable on International Women’s Day. In this dossier, you’ll find activism about menstrual justice, rights to parent in contexts of war, an analysis of care under incarceration, and transnational perspectives on autonomy and bodily dignity.

Image: A special GENDER.ED event on “Reproductive Justice” to mark International Women’s Day, Mar 8, 2023, at the University of Edinburgh

Here’s a brief introduction to the series from that event, and follow along for new posts in this dossier:

Last year the US Supreme Court made a historic decision to overturn Roe v Wade, thus declaring that the Constitutional right to abortion no longer exists in that country. There has been a lot of writing and media attention since then on what this means for the right to abortion. But we want to draw on this moment of shared feminist concern and attention to broaden our framing to think not only about abortion along a single-axis framework, but about reproductive justice more widely. The Black feminist scholar and activist Loretta Ross co-created, in 1994, the theory of reproductive justice. She writes: 

The definition of reproductive justice goes beyond the pro-choice/pro-life debate and has three primary principles: (1) the right not to have a child; (2) the right to have a child; and (3) the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. In addition, reproductive justice demands sexual autonomy and gender freedom for every human being. In today’s panel we asked what our understanding of reproductive justice might look like if we de-centered the Anglo American contexts in which so many of us write and think. What form of feminist solidarity become possible if we think from the Latin American context? Or the South Asian context? Our blogs will examine the many facets and complications of this term and take it beyond the contexts of its origin.