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Reproductive Justice

An Introduction

Loretta Ross (Author), Rickie Solinger (Author)


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March, 2017.
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Reproductive Justice is a first-of-its-kind primer that provides a comprehensive yet succinct description of the field. Written by two legendary scholar-activists, Reproductive Justice introduces students to an intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender politics. Clearly showing how reproductive justice is a political movement of reproductive rights and social justice, the authors illuminate how, for example, a low-income, physically disabled woman living in West Texas with no viable public transportation, healthcare clinic, or living-wage employment opportunities faces a complex web of structural obstacles as she contemplates her sexual and reproductive intentions. Putting the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book and using a human rights analysis, Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger show how the discussion around reproductive justice differs significantly from the pro-choice/anti-abortion debates that have long dominated the headlines and mainstream political conflict. In a period in which women’s reproductive lives are imperiled, Reproductive Justice provides an essential guide to understanding and mobilizing around women’s human rights in the twenty-first century.
Reproductive Justice: A New Vision for the Twenty-First Century publishes works that explore the contours and content of reproductive justice. The series will include primers intended for students and those new to reproductive justice as well as books of original research that will further knowledge and impact society. Learn more at
1. A Reproductive Justice History
2. Reproductive Justice in the Twenty-First Century
3. Managing Fertility
4. Reproductive Justice and the Right to Parent
Epilogue: Reproductive Justice on the Ground

Loretta J. Ross is a cofounder of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and the cocreator in 1994 of the theory of reproductive justice. She has addressed women’s issues, hate groups, and human rights on CNN and in the New York Times, Time magazine, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today
Rickie Solinger is a historian and curator and the author or editor of many books about reproductive politics, including Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race before Roe v. Wade.
“Controlling reproduction and the bodies of women seems to be the first step in every hierarchy. That’s why reproductive justice—women having power over our own bodies—is the crucial first step toward any democracy, any human rights, and any justice.” —Gloria Steinem 

“Now more than ever, as reproductive autonomy and the rights of people of color are under attack, we at Planned Parenthood know our fates are intertwined. The reproductive justice movement—which comes directly from the expertise and the lived experience of women of color—illuminated a path forward to hold the line on the rights we have won and to expand the rights of all people. We need to know the history laid out in Reproductive Justice, because we need to not repeat the ugliness of the past. Our strategies need to be inclusive and intersectional, because when women of color and those most affected by reproductive oppression are free to make their own decisions about their health and their bodies, we all win. None of us are free until we’re all free.”—Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“This book provides illuminating insights that could come only from a collaboration between two longtime and leading scholar-activists. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger explain with brilliant clarity not only what reproductive justice means, but also how reproductive oppression and resistance are central to U.S. history, as well as to contemporary laws, policies, and politics. Their analysis of the reproductive justice framework is more urgent than ever. Essential reading for everyone interested in reproductive freedom, social justice, and human rights.”—Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

“A wonderful new primer. Ross and Solinger have written a simultaneously sophisticated and accessible book for scholars, students, activists, and practitioners.” —Patrick Anderson, University of California, San Diego

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