Historian Rickie Solinger and activist Loretta Ross discussed reproductive justice with faculty and students at Pomerantz Stage on Wednesday night.
The law, politics and society and women and gender studies programs coordinated the presentation. The two programs invited Solinger and Ross to start a conversation among students. Solinger and Ross are collaborating to create a series about reproductive justice. Ross said their different backgrounds and techniques make them a good team.
“I’m the careful, meticulous scholar and she’s the brash activist,” Solinger said. “Loretta and I have been working for a year on finding ways to speak in our own voices and speak in a voice, which is consistent across our differences as well as distinct.”
Their collaboration is a part of a bigger movement that combines many concepts of human rights. “We decided to splice together social rights and embedded it in a social justice framework, and we came up with the term reproductive justice,” Ross aid. Ross said that reproductive justice has evolved over time, and that she and Solinger are continuously reshaping the definition and are working on including what is important to women and reproductive rights. “We added a third tent and that is we have the human right to raise our children to safely live in America,” Ross said. “The right to have a kid, the right to not have a kid, and the right to raise a kid. Those are all components of reproductive justice.”
Solinger and Ross are also working to distinguish the reproductive rights movement and not make it about one issue for women.
“A lot of people imagine that reproductive justice was created to push the pro-choice framework … and that is absolutely not true,” Ross said.
Working cohesively and with other people who feel strongly about the movement, Ross and
Solinger hope to spread the message of reproductive justice across many different genders, races and backgrounds.
“I think it’s important for people to talk about this, because society is changing and the classical role for women to be in the home having kids is changing to many different things, which may not include having kids, and people can’t wrap their heads around that,” first-year student Claire Franksen said. “So having these conversations is helping people become more comfortable (with) the idea of it.”