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Reproductive Justice 101

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What is Reproductive Justice?

Reproductive Justice is “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” The term Reproductive Justice was created in 1994 by the Black Women’s Caucus of the Illinois Pro-Choice Alliance. The founders of the Reproductive Justice movement were dissatisfied with the existing “pro-choice” framework because women of color had extremely limited choices when it came to reproduction. Reproductive justice draws on human rights, social justice and reproductive rights frameworks and is grounded in Black feminist theory.

Why Does Reproductive Justice Matter?

WCC has been fighting for women’s reproductive health and bodily autonomy since our founding more than 100 years ago. In 1918, WCC opened the nation’s first maternity center for underserved women, at a time when New York City women were dying during pregnancy, childbirth, and post-partum at horrific rates. The clinic significantly reduced maternal mortality rates and became a model in public health circles. New York State has also long been a leader in reproductive justice, legalizing abortion three years before Roe v. Wade was decided, for example.

Since the fall of Roe in 2022, New Yorkers have stepped up to strengthen reproductive justice for all, but there is more work to do. Read on for how you can join the fight.

Barriers to Reproductive Justice

*Watch this section for the latest updates on barriers to reproductive justice.


Did you know that there are almost twice as many fake abortion clinics in New York State as real ones?  

Why is that a problem?

  • Some of these fake clinics mislead people, either by saying that they will naturally miscarry (which is not necessarily true) or by making people think their pregnancy is further along than it is because some states have laws against abortion after a certain point.
  • These fake clinics are not considered “medical facilities” and therefore do not have to comply with the same federal privacy laws that real clinics do, putting patients’ medical information at risk.
  • Fake clinics often promote untrue medical claims and unproven treatments.
  • These clinics are concentrated in communities of color.


Did you know that in February 2024, Alabama’s highest court ruled that embryos are legally children and, as a result, several major fertility clinics stopped performing in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the state because of potential legal liability.

Why is that a problem? 

While IVF is not unique to same-sex couples, such couples are disproportionately impacted when IVF is unavailable or in legal limbo; one recent study found that 34% of women in same-sex marriage used assisted reproductive technology compared to only 4% of women in opposite-sex marriages.

How Can I Advocate for Reproductive Justice?

Advocate for Quality Reproductive Healthcare 

Take action with Pro-Truth NY, an organization led by the National Council of Jewish Women, that raises awareness and fights the dangers and deceptive tactics of fake reproductive health clinics. You can take action by reporting a fake clinic, posting on social media about the dangers of fake clinics, submitting a letter to the editor, or writing an op-ed. To help Pro-Truth NY ensure legitimate, private and truthful healthcare for all people, click here.

Advocate for Black Maternal Health 

Black women in New York City are 9 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related reasons than white women. Their rate of infant mortality is more than three times higher.

Advocates in New York are working to end maternal and infant mortality. Ancient Song is a New York based, national birth justice organization working to eliminate maternal and infant mortality and morbidity among low-income Black and Latinx people. They ensure that all pregnant, postpartum, and parenting people of color have access to high-quality, holistic doula care and services regardless of their ability to pay. Click here if you would like to share your Black maternal health story to stand in solidarity with others, shine a light on opportunities to create change, help care providers tend to the lives of pregnant people in a more robust way, and possibly offer yourself restoration and healing. Click here if you are a medical provider or other stakeholder operating in Black and Latinx communities, such as social workers, counselors, and community health centers, and would like comprehensive training on sexual and reproductive justice and birth justice.

Advocate for LGBTQIA+ Access to Reproductive Health 

LGBTQIA+ people face a range of inequities when seeking healthcare. According to the National LGBTQ Health Education Center, most barriers to accessing care fall into three categories: 1) pervasive experiences with stigma and discrimination; 2) limited access to services; and 3) little health knowledge or literacy.

Finding culturally competent information about contraception for the LGBTQIA+ community can be particularly challenging to find. Here is a resource with information that can help you advocate for yourself and others in the LGBTQIA+ community when seeking contraception.