Access, Autonomy and Dignity

A Series on Reproductive Rights and Disability Justice

September 2020
Reproductive Rights

Access, Autonomy, and Dignity: A Series on Reproductive Rights and Disability Justice

The reproductive health, rights, and justice movement and the disability justice movement have much in common. Both movements strive for bodily autonomy and the right of each person to make their own health care decisions, and share an understanding that these are deeply connected to dignity and equality. However, the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement has not always emphasized the specific needs or challenges of people with disabilities, or sufficiently considered how their histories and experiences add nuance and complexity to the issues of reproductive health and choice.

Health equity, disability justice, and reproductive justice frameworks call on us to understand how these issues intersect in people’s lives, how access to reproductive health care is shaped by disability status, and how policy solutions must center the needs of those with the greatest barriers. People with disabilities will not truly have access to reproductive health and rights until we can eradicate ableist notions of if, when, and how people with disabilities can have or not have children, as well as parent them safely, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.

The issue briefs in this series explore four important areas of reproductive health, rights, and justice for people with disabilities: access to abortion, access to contraception, healthy sexuality and sex education, and the right to parent.

We have a long way to go. Join us in fighting for bodily autonomy and justice for everyone.