Intersectionality & Reproductive Justice - National Network of Abortion Funds
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People of all races, genders, incomes, sexual orientations, abilities, and immigration statuses need abortions. That’s why it’s essential to learn about intersectionality and Reproductive Justice. Without these frameworks, it’s impossible to achieve true abortion justice. Use these resources to learn more and start working to make abortion accessible for ALL.

Understanding Intersectionality

Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects.”

Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw
Three people are gathered around a kitchen table, working together on a written list. On the left, holding the pen and paper, is a dark-skinned person with short, defined curls loose around their face, wearing a patterned t-shirt. Next to them is a person with medium brown skin and shoulder length curls, wearing a necklace and a v-neck tank top. On the right side, looking at the person writing the list, is a masculine-presenting person with light skin and short dark hair in a t-shirt and a backwards baseball cap.

Scholar and civil rights activist Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw created the term “intersectionality.” This term describes how multiple kinds of discrimination overlap and impact people in marginalized groups. 

For many, the effects of intersecting oppressions are felt every day. We know that racism, classism, sexism, and other types of discrimination affect abortion policies. Folks impacted by multiple types of discrimination experience barriers to abortion access that others do not.

Understanding intersectionality is a big part of achieving Reproductive Justice.

Understanding Reproductive Justice

The term Reproductive Justice was created in 1994 by a group of Black women who named their collective the Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice. By 1997, SisterSong was formed and Reproductive Justice became a national, multi-ethnic movement.

“An intersectional theoretical analysis defined by the human rights framework applicable to everyone, and based on concepts of intersectionality and the practice of self-help. It is also a base-building strategy for our movement that requires multi-issue, cross-sector collaborations. ”

SisterSong
Three feminine-presenting people hold each tightly in a group hug.

The Reproductive Justice framework goes beyond other gender equality, abortion rights, or pro-choice frameworks.

Unlike these other approaches, Reproductive Justice always considers the many ways institutions, cultural norms, and systems of oppression exert control over people and their reproductive choices.

Learn More About Intersectionality And Reproductive Justice

Use these resources to understand intersectionality and Reproductive Justice. Learn, reflect, and grow.

After Reviewing, Consider These Questions
  • Name one step to ensure the abortion justice movement doesn’t overlook people in marginalized groups.
  • What are the biggest differences between reproductive rights, reproductive health, and Reproductive Justice?
  • Identify examples of race-based medicine that still exist today. How do the examples create disparities? And what do these disparities lead to?
  • Can religion and science exist in harmony? Why or why not?
  • What practical role do abortion funds play in achieving Reproductive Justice?