Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice

RCRC believes that having the legal right to reproductive health care and access to reproductive health services are vital. But there is even more to this issue.

We need justice in the reproductive lives of all people.

RCRC is building a multi-issue, multi-cultural, multi-generational movement. This movement must ensure that all people have access to the resources they need to live healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives.

Our work today blends our ongoing commitment to reproductive health and legal rights — the focus of our past — with a broader spectrum of human rights and social justice.

This framework is known as reproductive justice.

Understanding Reproductive Justice

Reproductive justice (RJ) is an intersectional theory. It has emerged from the experiences of women of color as they have faced a complex set of reproductive oppressions.

RJ encompasses legal rights to abortion and gender equality, but it includes more. RJ recognizes that access to healthcare is influenced by other factors such as class, race, sexual orientation and immigration status.

It focuses on marginalized communities — women of color and the poor — who encounter sharp disparities in access to sex education, adequate health care, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, prevention of unintended pregnancies and access to abortion care.

The privacy and moral agency of these women to make their own health decisions has also been severely attacked.

Loretta Ross, one of the founding mothers of this movement, has written, “the ability of any woman to determine her own reproductive destiny is directly linked to the conditions in her community, and these conditions are not just a matter of individual choice and access. For example, a woman cannot make an individual decision about her body if she is part of a community whose human rights as a group are violated, such as through environmental dangers or insufficient quality health care.” (footnote to Sister Song document on What is Reproductive Justice?)

“A woman’s ability to limit her fertility is directly related to better health and economic stability for her and her family.”

– Rev. Suzelle Lynch

A Woman's Rights

Reproductive justice assures that every woman has a human right to:

  1. Decide if and when she will have a baby and the conditions under which she will give birth.
  2. Decide if she will not have a baby and her options for preventing or ending a pregnancy through the use of contraceptives, abstinence, or abortion, and access to the resources to exercise her decision.
  3. Parent the children she already has with the necessary social and economic supports in safe environments and healthy communities, and without fear of violence from individuals or the government.

RCRC’s Clergy and Laypeople Proudly Support:


Access to comprehensive sexuality education


Family planning and contraception


Affordable child care and health care


Support for and access to adoption services


Safe, legal abortion services, regardless of income or circumstance