NCJW, Reproductive Health

Read the National Council of Jewish Women’s statement on reproductive health rights.

Reproductive justice is a framework, movement, and vision. When reproductive justice is achieved, each person will have the power to make their own informed decisions about their body, sexuality, and future regardless of race, income and class, sexual orientation, immigration status, or other factors. The formal reproductive justice framework was created in the mid-1990s by women of color. Inspired by universal human rights concepts, it grew out of a discussion of how US health care reform proposals would impact black women’s lives and communities. From there, the reproductive justice movement was born, committed to achieving human rights for all. Specifically, these rights include:

1. the right to have full autonomy over our bodies;

2. the right to have or not have children;

3. the right to birth and/or parent our children with dignity; and

4. the right to live and/or raise a family in a safe, healthy environment.

The reproductive justice framework goes beyond the basic legal right to access key reproductive health services. Using a broader social justice and human rights lens, it seeks to advance moral and bodily autonomy, health equity, and unfettered access to comprehensive reproductive health care for all individuals and communities. It also emphasizes how multiple systems of discrimination intersect and influence these rights among marginalized communities. As a movement, it works to place the voices of those who have been marginalized at the center to lead the conversation for social change.