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NARAL PRO-CHOICE OREGON’S COMMITMENT TO EQUITY
Since 1977, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon has worked to develop and sustain a constituency which effectively uses the political process to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices. Using sophisticated political strategies, extensive grassroots organizing, and effective lobbying, we have championed women’s reproductive rights. We’ve become a leader in this movement, and Oregon has become a beacon for this country.
Historically, we’ve focused on an individual woman’s legal right to reproductive health services. We now recognize the factors that shape and impact that right. Issues such as economic justice, the environment, immigrants’ rights, disability rights, and discrimination based on race and sexual orientation play key roles in women’s ability to access health care and place real life constraints on what we have traditionally thought of as choice.
We believe that in order for us to truly fulfill our mission, to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, we must broaden our understanding of choice. We must look at this issue with a deeper and wider lens. In order to achieve health equity for all Oregon women and families, we must embrace a more inclusive, holistic reproductive justice framework.
The concept of reproductive justice was originally introduced in 1994 by Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice and later developed by the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Forward Together defines reproductive justice as the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls. It will be achieved when every person has the economic, social, and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and reproduction for themselves, their families, and their communities in all areas of their lives.
Reproductive justice isn’t just about the legal right to choose. It is about all of those factors that shape and impact choice—factors like race, socio-economic status, immigration status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Reproductive justice examines how those factors intersect with one another and affect a person’s experience accessing the full range of reproductive options. It addresses the reality that access to care looks different depending on what you look like, where you live, where you were born, where and whether you work.
We look to our peers in this movement—women of color and young women who have been fighting for reproductive justice for decades. We look to them for their wisdom, experience, and expertise. We seek meaningful relationships as we become a better ally for organizations fighting for racial, gender, and economic justice. We hope to actively carry out this important intersectional work together.
With this new framework, we will address and champion a wider range of issues related to reproductive health. We now recognize that factors such as transportation, documentation status, housing conditions, employment, and gender identity impact people’s ability to access just and dignified health care.
We believe that all people should have the power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and reproduction for themselves and their families without fear of discrimination, exclusion, or harm. We will work to break down barriers to health care so that all people have the opportunity to thrive.
We commit to being an ally for other organizations and community partners doing this work. We commit to supporting and amplifying the experiences and leadership of people of color.
We commit to educating our members and supporters about the intersections of reproductive justice and racial justice, economic justice, immigrant justice, and LGBTQ justice.
We commit to challenging our own privilege, sharing our resources and power, and deepening our work in a meaningful and intentional way. We promise to learn from our mistakes as we continue to refine and redefine our goals.
We remain a reproductive rights organization. But we embrace a reproductive justice framework. We encourage you to join us and grow with us as we broaden our understanding of choice and promote the health and well-being of all Oregon women and their communities.