NORFOLK, Va. – News 3 is continuing our conversations partnering with the YWCA’s 21-day "Stand Against Racism" challenge. This week, we’re talking about the importance of reproductive justice and the need for women to have the ability to make the best reproductive choices for themselves and their families.
The ability to control your own reproductive choices massively impacts all people - especially people of color. And due to continuing institutionalized racism and historic reproductive oppression, many minorities have limited access to adequate reproductive healthcare and therefore have higher rates of reproductive health issues.
In 2022, 41 states have introduced more than 500 abortion restrictions.
According to the USA Fibroid Centers, African American women face disproportionately higher risks of developing fibroids and hysterectomies. And according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when it comes to maternal mortality rates, those are also higher for Black and Latino mothers.
“When you think about the social and structural factors, it goes back to health disparities and health inequities; it goes back to the absence of education and people understanding their bodies and how they need to guard and take care of their bodies,” explained Michelle Ellis-Young, CEO of the YWCA of South Hampton Roads. “And when we talk about reproductive justice or reproductive health, we’re talking about autonomy for people.”
So, what can we do to continue the conversation and help in the fight for reproductive justice?
Ellis-Young says you can donate to an organization in your community, volunteer your time and spread awareness by sharing the articles and stories you come across with your family and friends.