A Response to Jon O’Brien’s Defense of “Pro-Choice”

May 15, 2013 • Reproductive Health, United States, Daily Email Recap

Understanding Reproductive Justice: A Response to O’Brien

See: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/05/08/understanding-reproductive-justice-a-response-to-obrien/

We are writing in response to Jon O’Brien’s April 25 article for RH Reality Check, Why We Are and Must Remain ‘Pro-Choice.’ We see the history and content of the reproductive justice framework and movement, and its critique of choice, quite differently. Because Catholics for Choice is a strong ally in the struggle for reproductive justice, we feel it is especially important to offer our perspective.

“Reproductive justice is not a label-it’s a mission. It describes our collective vision.”

The reproductive justice (RJ) movement has developed its analysis and agenda over many years. It is an inspirational vision for the future that also provides direction for the present. Activist Eesha Pandit puts it this way: “This was never about semantics, but about priorities and goals; about what we are willing to fight for and how we do it; about organizing differently, telling different stories, having different leadership. RJ’s inclusive lens expanded the agenda beyond abortion and contraception. In so doing, it drew new constituencies to the battles for reproductive autonomy and created solidarity with other movements.”

Planned Parenthood’s recent decision to stop using “choice” language has led to a broad discussion about which labels and messages are most effective. Although Planned Parenthood’s rationale for the shift is not based on the analysis and critique developed by the reproductive justice movement, the group’s action provides an opportunity to talk about reproductive justice to a larger audience. As Kierra Johnson and Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas discuss in their excellent article, advocates are determined not to have this be a conversation merely about semantics or labels. Rather, they are taking the opportunity to talk about political goals and vision.

To read the full article, please click here: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/05/08/understanding-reproductive-justice-a-response-to-obrien/

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