Reproductive Justice Movement and Doula – An Intimately Related Couple

Published: Jun 15, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Woman holding sign in hand with my body my choice phrase

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In this post, we discuss how the Reproductive Justice Movement and Doula work relate to each other.

The term Reproductive Justice came about as a combination of two words taken from Reproductive Rights and Social Justice, a term coined in 1994 by the SisterSong Collective, a group of Black and Indigenous women, women of Color, and other minorities and marginalized people.

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Its core statement is that “people have the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children and parent the children they have in safe and sustainable communities.

The collective recognized that the Women’s Rights Movement was led and represented by middle class and wealthy White women who could not defend the needs of women of Color and other marginalized women and trans or queer people. Hence, the need of their own national movement to represent the most marginalized women, families, and communities in society.

The Reproductive Justice Movement focuses on social justice and recognizes multiple intersecting oppressions faced by women, Indigenous people, people of Color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other historically marginalized groups.

Their work extends across a person’s entire reproductive journey — which is similar to the aims and tasks of a Full-Spectrum Doula — and endeavors to ensure that everyone has access to the resources and care they need to make autonomous decisions about their reproductive and parenting lives.

In addition, the movement also incorporates the need for economic, environmental, political, and other types of justice, and takes affirmative steps to dismantle racism and other structural inequities, a task you will also explicitly find in the work of Community-Based Doulas.

On the whole, you could say that Community-Based Doulas, Full-Spectrum Doulas, and LGBTQ+ Doulas are closely aligned to the aims of the Reproductive Justice Movement, having similar topics of focus, approaches and values affirming that everyone should have the resources and autonomy to decide whether and when to become a parent and to raise a family with dignity, and that people should be supported in all of their reproductive health experiences.

Moreover, Doulas typically work for mitigation of the impacts of racism and discrimination in the lives of individuals, families, and communities, and they work to holistically address the structural challenges that their clients encounter.

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