SisterSong, the national organization representing women of color, originally coined the term ‘reproductive justice.’ They define it as ‘the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic and social well-being of women and girls.’
This term and these concepts were the subject of discussion on Thursday, May 4, at UC Irvine’s Cross-Cultural Center where the Gender Education Series presented ‘The Future of Reproductive Justice: Issues, Activism and Leadership,’ featuring Dr. Kimberly Salter, president of the California National Organization for Women, and Bethany Leal, director of Economic and Reproductive Justice Projects at the California Women’s Law Center.
‘[Reproductive justice] is more than just birth control, abortion and welfare benefits,’ Salter said. ‘It cuts across so many different issues.’
Salter briefly outlined the ‘herstory’ of women’s reproductive rights in the United States, explaining that although Roe v. Wade (1973) legalized abortion on a federal level, approximately 85 percent of U.S. counties do not allow it.
‘It’s interesting to know that during Clinton’s administration, during those eight years we had a liberal president, we all thought we were safe and nobody would touch Roe v. Wade.
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