The recent Dobbs v. JWHO Supreme Court decision that now allows states to ban abortion not only diminishes abortion access, but creates an opportune moment for groups to appropriate reproductive justice and capitalize off people’s outrage. Thus, everyone must practice diligence when determining whether their involvement with a group or organization will hurt the reproductive justice movement and the people relying on it. Plainly stated, the autonomy and freedom of everyone depends on an ongoing bold resistance to any measures that prevent people from exercising bodily autonomy, deciding if and when to give birth, raising their children in safe environments, and expressing their sexual freedom. This includes holding accountable people or groups who purport to be on our side.
Below are some questions that should be answered positively before getting involved with any reproductive justice groups and organizations:
- Does their mission align with the principles of reproductive justice?
- Do they have diverse leadership at every level?
- Do they center the most marginalized?
- Are they working in coalition with other groups and organizations that you know are credible?
- Do they use gender-inclusive language?
- Do they implement safety measures for protesters of color and other vulnerable groups at their actions?
- Do they avoid using outdated and inflammatory imagery that is out of step with inclusivity or movement goals?
- Do they avoid comparing abortion access or the lack thereof to any historical atrocity (e.g., slavery or the holocaust)?
It is imperative that we keep these questions in mind as we work toward liberating the futures of people with a capacity for pregnancy and their families, because how we do this work is just as important as the outcomes we seek. After all, it is those most marginalized, vulnerable, and directly affected by white patriarchal supremacy who feel the brunt of our failure to adhere to the principles of reproductive justice.
Stand fast, and we will see you in the streets!