Ms. Foundation Promotes Reproductive Justice

January 28, 2010 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

Last night I attended the second in a series of events the Ms. Foundation is hosting for young women. To promote discussion not reproductive justice, Ms. held a screening of Sherrybaby, a film about a formerly incarcerated, low-income woman struggling to figure out her relationship with daughter. Reproductive justice differs from reproductive rights, a Ms. Foundation staff member explained before the viewing. While reproductive rights are linked with legal rights, reproductive justice is linked to social justice movements. Coming out of communities rather than a legal framework, reproductive justice tackles a broad spectrum of issues from immigration to LGBT identities to worker rights, highlighting the intersections and recognizing institutional barriers. By exploring the themes of poverty, single motherhood, the criminal justice system, and the welfare system, the Ms. Foundation utilized Sherrybaby as a catalyst for greater discussion of reproductive justice. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Ms. Foundation grantee organizations that work to promote reproductive justice:

Rebecca’s Project

  • Offers parenting classes for incarcerated women; supports a unique approach of placing children of incarcerated women in foster care housed at the mother’s prison; promotes alternatives to incarceration

Migrant Health Promotion, Los Latina

  • Conducted a fundraising campaign to hire a bus that goes into communities bi-weekly, offering rides to women so that they can receive reproductive health services that they otherwise don’t have access to

National Advocates for Pregnant Women

  • Has worked on the emerging issue of surrogate mothers

I also learned about this amazing adoption agency right here in NYC that operates within a reproductive justice framework: Spence-Chapin Services.

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