Reproductive Justice & WHAI
Reproductive Justice advocacy is of critical importance to WHAI work. SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” (www.sistersong.net/reproductive-justice). This work is grounded in the work of Black, Indigenous, Trans, 2-Spirited and femme people who recognize that intersecting systems of oppression such as racism, colonialism and capitalism impact women’s ability to exercise their bodily autonomy and their ability to access the reproductive health care they need.
WHAI is a provincial initiative in Ontario working to build community capacity to support women living with or facing systemic risk related to HIV. We are committed to reducing HIV transmission, enhancing local community capacity to address HIV, and building safer environments to support women and their HIV related needs.
HIV is a Reproductive Justice issue. Intersecting structural realities that impact risk for HIV and the health outcomes of those living with HIV also impact people’s access to Reproductive Justice. Sexual health care, abortion access, freedom from violence both structurally and interpersonally, economic empowerment, bodily autonomy, gender and race equity – are all factors that impact Reproductive Justice, risk for HIV, and the health outcomes of those living with HIV.
The overturning of Roe V. Wade in the United States has deeply impacted all of us. Abortion is a fundamental human right. Although abortion is legal in Canada, disparities in access vary significantly across regions, disproportionately impacting Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, those living outside urban centres, and people living in poverty. We have much work to do to address these inequities. With this in mind, WHAI stands in grief and solidarity with those resisting the US Supreme Court Decision to overturn Roe V. Wade and organizing for Reproductive Justice on the ground, while also working to ensure equitable access across our regions in Ontario.
As we continue to build community capacity to respond to social, health, gender, and race inequities, including Reproductive Justice and abortion access, let’s stand together and strengthen our work. You can do this by:
- Supporting local and experienced networks – especially those led by Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous communities
- Donating to local organizations and those organizing in the US
- Signing petitions and reaching out to your members of parliament
- Learning about the realities of those most impacted by this decision
- Speaking up to amplify the work of local Reproductive Justice organizations
For more examples of action you can take, see Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s “Action List.” For more information, connect with:
- Local Reproductive Justice organizations and networks
- Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
- Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund
- Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada