Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler: We Have Always Resisted

Gay Voices (The Huffington Post)
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January 22, 2013

When defining the reproductive justice movement, many advocates trace its roots to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and the growth of reproductive health organizations that began to emerge. Taking up issues such as access to safe abortions, ending sterilization, and the right to motherhood, the boom in institutional activism across races, helped to usher in an ongoing national conversation about the structural restraints enforced on women's bodies. For reproductive justice advocates of color, the strategic act of centering Roe v. Wade can be useful in that it provides a documented history of resistance against a medical industry driven by pharmaceutical genocide. However, because this framework privileges a concept of "woman" concerned primarily with abortion access, it advances a dangerous narrative that erases the multiple ways that generations of trans women of color have also organized around similar issues of reproductive oppression. Specifically, the right of an individual to exercise control and fight for the safety of their bodies despite their gender and sexuality.