Sunday, June 03, 2007

SisterSong Celebrates 10th Anniversary

SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and Second National Conference in Chicago this weekend. The conference, in Chicago, is entitled "Let's Talk about Sex":
Why?: Since the right to have sex is a topic rarely discussed when addressing reproductive health and rights issues, SisterSong believes that sexual prohibitions are not only promoted by moral conservatives in this country, but also by reproductive rights advocates who fail to promote a sex-positive culture. We believe that sex for pro-creation or sexual pleasure is a human right, and we are striving to create a pro-sex space for the pro-choice movement.

In preparation for presenting a paper this summer examining the language and imagery of Gonzales v. Carhart I have been trying to get some measure of what I don't know about reproductive justice, explained by SisterSong as
reproductive health integrated into social justice. . . . an intersectional theory emerging from the experiences of women of color whose communities experience reproductive oppression. It is based on the understanding
that the impact on women of color of race, class and gender are not additive but integrative.
To that end I have spent several humbling and enlightening hours--and will spend many, many more--reading SisterSong's newspaper Collective Voices. I was already aware how the "abortion debate" distorts what is at stake for women and men in the assault on reproductive rights, and of the ways anti-choice legislation, with the help of the Supreme Court, has systematically restricted the availability of abortion and reproductive choice generally to educated, urban, affluent women. But I'm learning that restrictions on abortion can't really be combatted or even intelligently discussed without broadening the focus to include forced sterilization, criminalized pregnancy, "population control" and eugenics. By contrast, the Supreme Court's focus in Gonzales v. Carhart narrows to exclude women altogether,

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