Reproductive Justice is an activist movement for full access to reproductive and sexual healthcare and rights. As SisterSong explains, “Indigenous women, women of color, and trans* people have always fought for Reproductive Justice, but the term was invented in 1994…by a group of Black women gathered in Chicago.” Mainstream womens’ rights movements have historically centered white voices, rhetorics of “choice,” and abortion while ignoring other issues related to access, safety, and care that impact Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other women and trans people of color disproportionately.
Reproductive justice (RJ) demands rights for every individual. Loretta Ross and Rickie Solinger define the core principles of RJ to be:
(1) the right not to not have a child
(2) the right to have a child
(3) the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments
(4) the right to sexual and bodily autonomy
These principles connect reproductive rights and health with quality education, fair housing, access to health services, immigration status and protections, and police violence.
The promotores de salud featured on this site work with Latinx and immigrant communities to improve education, resources, and advocacy for reproductive justice and sexual health. They are experts at creating confianza. With this ability to create trust and confidence with others, people often open up to them about vulnerable and sometimes traumatic stories. The promotores’ own experiences with reproductive justice are multi-layered: at the same time that they’re grappling with carrying the stories and challenges of others, they carry their own stories and experiences of reproductive injustices. Through the process of reflecting and writing about reproductive justice, we have emphasized the need to care for ourselves, our stories, others and their stories, too. In doing that, sometimes it is best not to share our stories with others if we cannot trust them with that part of ourselves.
This community writing project aims to create space for the promotores to reflect on and share their own stories—about how they came to be promotores, how they see reproductive justice as part of their work, and how they see their past experiences as impacting who they are today.