after my post yesterday my friend sarah tancred sent me some resource suggestions. i had never heard of loretta ross though i was lucky enough to attend the 2004 march for women’s lives, of which she was the co-director. though i have a whole list of resources to annotate here, i clicked the link and was smitten. thanks sarah!
sarah’s link sent me to makers.com, which is a aol/pbs collaboration that does video showcases of women who are changing the world and/or “fighting for something bigger than themselves”. watching the “about” video showed me snippets of features of ellen degeneres, gloria steinem, condoleezza rice, and many, many more, a really amazing and inspiring bunch. i also like that the website makes a point to say they feature known and unknown women, high profile to everyday. i guess that felt really inclusive, so i appreciated that choice of language.
the loretta ross video was about her experiences with reproductive injustice at an early age and how those experiences led to her becoming an organizer. the most interesting part for me was the short history she gave of the term “reproductive justice.” this was a new term for me and, in my opinion, such a beautiful term. she begins by talking about how in 1994 she attended an international conference in which activists were using a human rights framework from which to talk about reproductive rights. they were interested in how that created a more holistic movement, where abortion wasn’t the most important topic, where economic justice and access to basic healthcare were just as important. she goes on to say, how the african american community has been subjected to population control in the past so, therefore, the right to HAVE children and toRAISE them is just as pertinent to the topic of reproductive freedom as is the right to abortion access. she sums it up real quick here:
she goes into more detail about her organization sistersong, reproductive justice and the political term “women of color” in this video:
i’m just embedding part 1 but i definitely recommend going down the rabbit hole and youtubing everything on loretta ross because she is freaking amazing.
when i searched for more information on her personal abortion experience (since that is the topic of my current work) i found a tumblr called “that’s my abortion”. this site acts as a space for women of color to tell their own stories of reproductive justice. there is a huge movement by the conservative right to paint abortion as an attack on the african american community and this site combats this. the front page of that’s my abortion.tumblr.com states “The right wing is targeting the reproductive agency and rights of black women and other women of color. Their messages are couched in a deceptive framework of anti-racism in billboards and advertising in NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Austin, D.C. and Philadelphia.”