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Reproductive Justice: Where Do We Go From Here? Sisters in Control A Guide to Reproductive Justice for African American Women A Guide for Indo/ Pak Women on Reproductive Rights in Urdu Urdu Reproductive Justice Guide A Guide for Nepalese Women on Reproductive Rights, Womb Health and Wellbeing Napelese Reproductive Rights Guide A Spanish Language Audio Guide to Reproductive Health Cihuatl tlatokan Parental Notification and Young Women of Color Effects of California Proposition 85 RJCLA Multi-Cultural Focus Group Project Results of RJCLA Multi-Cultural Focus Group Project
Reproductive Justice Project
The goal of the Reproductive Justice Project (RJP) is to obtain reproductive justice for low-income and under-served women, particularly women of color, immigrant women and adolescent girls, in California through policy advocacy, community education, and coalition building. For reproductive justice to be achieved, California’s strong and progressive reproductive rights laws must be fully known and understood by all women throughout the state. Furthermore, the current laws must be broadened. As it stands, the state’s reproductive rights laws are numerous and far-reaching:
- A woman’s right to choose is protected as a fundamental right in our state constitution and specifically reaffirmed through legislation;
- Health insurance plans that provide coverage for prescription drugs must provide equitable coverage for contraceptive methods;
- Sexual assault victims have access to emergency contraception (EC) in hospital emergency rooms and women have access to EC directly from pharmacists without a prescription;
- Through public benefit programs like Medi-Cal and Family PACT (Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment program), low-income women have access to pre-natal care and birth control; they can also obtain state funding for abortion services;
- A minor’s right to choose is protected by our state constitution and recent initiatives to end this right were defeated; and
- Numerous laws protect clients and providers of reproductive health services from harassment and violence.
However, many women are not aware of these reproductive rights and even when they are, they experience multiple barriers to exercising those rights. For example, many women lack health insurance, do not speak English, are low-income and are dependent on their husbands. To achieve reproductive justice, existing reproductive rights laws need to be broadened to include cultural competency and language access rights, and issues of poverty and sexism must be addressed. Without these essentials, many women are and will remain disenfranchised and unable to access or enforce one of the most fundamental of all constitutional rights – the right to control one’s body.
Through the RJP, CWLC provides women with information about their reproductive health and rights, advocates for public policy that addresses the reproductive health and rights needs of the state’s new majority of women of reproductive age – women of color and immigrant women, and organizes community based organizations to advocate for reproductive justice.
Sisters in Control
CWLC collaborated with five community-based organizations in Los Angeles County to develop Sisters in Control, a public education campaign designed to provide birth control information through a reproductive justice lens for women of color, immigrant women and adolescent girls. CWLC recently trained over 700 low-income women including Mayan women, immigrant Latinas, African-American women, Muslim women and Nepalese women at 60 direct service organizations.
Reproductive Justice Coalition of Los Angeles
CWLC leads the Reproductive Justice Coalition of Los Angles (RJCLA). The coalition includes a diverse group of over 20 grassroots, statewide, and national organizations. The Coalition’s main objective is to provide capacity-building opportunities for community-based organizations that focus on people of color and have expressed an interest in working on issues concerning reproductive health and justice. RJCLA’s work is unique in that it looks to the community to develop its agenda. Recent RJCLA accomplishments include:
- Conducted 11 reproductive health and rights focus groups throughout Los Angeles County;
- Published a report of findings from focus groups;
- Coordinated report back to stakeholders including the 11 community-based organizations participating in focus groups;
- Helped to defeat Propositions 73 and 85 by developing “No on 73” and “No on 85” education messages for the Latino, Asian and African-American communities; and
- Sponsored three annual International Women’s Day Celebrations.