Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice: A Closer Look at the Historical Impacts of Racism & Colonialism

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30/12/2021 12:00 am


This brief was written by Seyram Dodor, Aria Grabowski & Erin Leasure (2021) and published on International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).

Global racial justice is inextricably linked to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality. Histories of slavery and colonialism have shaped our current public and global health system and its existing hierarchies – all rooted in multiple and intersecting forms of exclusion.

Efforts to advance SRHR should incorporate a reproductive justice lens to address the structural impacts of slavery and colonialism that are linked to negative health outcomes and disruptions in access to affordable quality care. This history has shaped restrictive abortion policies and programs and has been linked to population control and non-rights based family planning.

This brief examines the linkages between racism and sexual and reproductive health and rights and outlines specific recommendations the U.S. government can integrate in its foreign policy and assistance to advance progress on the interlinked issues by looking to the global racial justice and reproductive justice movements.


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