A Note on Terms

Against the Current, No. 188, May/June 2017

THE WOMEN’s MOVEMENT of the ’60s and ’70s had two different strategies around reproductive issues:

• The pro-choice movement focused on the legal battle of ending restrictions on abortion and birth control, framing these rights as a woman’s choice.

• The left of the women’s movement maintained that women’s reproductive issues didn’t stop with legalization but raised interrelated reproductive issues: access to birth control, “free abortion on demand,” opposition to forced sterilization and the right to have and raise children with the necessary social supports.

For socialist women a broader reproductive rights approach was essential since historically women’s access to health care has been based on class differences. Poor women — particularly women of color — need social support, not just formal legal rights.

Reproductive justice is a multi-issue and base-building strategy developed by women of color in the 1990s. It views reproductive rights as part of a human rights agenda. See https://www.trustblackwomen.org/our-work/what-is-reproductive-justice/9-what-is-reproductive-justice and http://www.protectchoice.org/section.php?id=28.

May-June 2017, ATC 188