Reproductive Justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, social, and economic well-being of women and girls, based on the full achievement and protection of women’s human rights. - Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice
The United States’ history of women’s reproductive oppression provides a clear motive for Reproductive Justice frameworks, which aim to eliminate inequalities and other factors that limit women’s ability to control these rights. The Reproductive Justice movement can be viewed as an integrative approach, which includes legal rights, as well as health care delivery.
1830s: President Andrew Jackson, in an attempt to to remove current and future generation of Native peoples, orders his troops to kill women and children
1875: Page Act passed. This law forbid the entry of unmarried Asian women into the country as a way of limiting family development.
1900-1940s: Birthing practices become increasingly medical. In 1915, 40% of all births were attended by midwives. By 1935, this number had decreased to 10.7%.
1907: States begin to pass laws mandating the sterilization of “unfit” or “inferior” individuals
1913-1948: United States’ Anti Miscegenation laws prohibit the marriage of whites and blacks, and in many states, also Asians. From 1913 until 1948, 30 out of the then 48 states enforced these laws.
1920: Women get the right to vote
1940s: U.S Public Health Service recommends that public schools include sex education in their curriculums
1943: The hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. It is revealed that the women and Japanese Americans, who were rounded up under Executive Order 9066, were sterilized without their knowledge while interning at Tule Lake.
1956: Women living in housing projects in Puerto Rico become the subjects of clinical trials on early forms of the birth control pill. The women experience harmful side effects due to the high levels of estrogen and progesterone being tested, which were 20 times the hormone levels of current pills.
1965: Griswold v. Connecticut - Supreme court decision giving married couples the right to access contraception.
1967: Loving v. Virginia. The United States Supreme Court unanimously rules that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional.
1968: A campaign by the Puerto Rican government results in the sterilization of 1/3 of Puerto Rican women of childbearing age
1970s: 25% of Indian women living on reservations in the United States are sterilized. In 1975 alone, 25,000 women are sterilized by the Indian Health Services.
1973: Roe v. Wade - Supreme Court decision establishing a women’s right to abortion
1974: Relf vs. Weinberger. Mary Alice Relf (age 14) and her sister Minnie Relf (age 12) become victims of the abusive practice of sterilizing poor, black women in the South. Their mother, signed a document, expecting that her daughters would be given birth control shots. Instead, the they were surgically sterilized. In addition to this case, the court estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 poor women were sterilized under federally-funded programs. This case led to the requirement that doctors obtain "informed consent" before performing sterilization procedures.
1979: Hyde Amendment - Made it illegal for federal Medicaid to pay for abortions (except in the case of life endangerment)
1980s: Phoenix and Oklahoma City Indian Health Services uses a non- FDA approved birth control injection, Depo-Provera, on Native women with disabilities
1996: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act - Punished low-income women on welfare for bearing children and coercing low income women to marry
1997: SisterSong Collective forms. They educate women of color and policy makers on reproductive and sexual health rights and provide information and resources that are culturally relevant.
2000: United Nations produces Protocol To Prevent, Suppress And Punish Trafficking In Persons
2000s: States begin passing laws against the use of drugs while pregnant
2003: Nationwide laws passed requiring minors under the age of 18 to obtain parental consent prior to abortion
2005: It is recorded that more than 80% of women living with HIV or AIDS are women of color. Black women are 20 times more likely than white women to contract HIV.
2007: Gonzales vs. Carhart- Upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion