Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Statement on Reproductive Justice

Submitted by Whitney Miller on

In a historic and unprecedented decision on July 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), thereby giving individual states the authority over the bodies and reproductive health of all pregnant people. Although the constitutional rights of Black, Indigenous and other people of color in the U.S. and its colonial territories have been repeatedly abrogated, this ruling is the first time in history that the court has taken away an individual liberty. The right to privacy and liberty to terminate a pregnancy, enshrined as fifty-year legal precedent, has been reversed. This decision vastly undermines all people’s ability to exercise reproductive choice and places the bodies of the majority under state control.

The Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington stands in solidarity with feminist activists locally and globally who have long struggled for and will continue to fight for reproductive justice. As our colleague Bettina Judd, with a perceptive eye toward both past and future, asserts, “folks on the ground have been activated and ready.”

We recognize that those who are most marginalized and denied safe and affordable health care will be most negatively impacted by this SCOTUS decision, and its ramifications extend beyond U.S. borders. We recognize that throughout U.S. history the state has exerted control over racialized women’s bodies—through enslavement, sterilization campaigns, and access to contraception and care. We recognize that the movement for reproductive justice is inextricably linked to structural struggles for social and economic justice at the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, and ability. Reproductive justice is about the collective ability of and equitable resources for all people to parent, raise, and educate children in safe and sustainable communities.

During a time of personal and political turmoil, our departmental mission remains to educate members of our community and to provide resources to better understand and navigate violence and uncertainty, as we continue working together to critique and mobilize against entangled systematic injustices.

Local Resources 

National Resources 

Resources for Studying Up 

UW-licensed Resources from the UW Libraries Compiled by GWSS Librarian, Cass Hartnett

Streaming Films 
  • Ross, Loretta, Deja Foxx, and Fellicia Gustin. The Future of Reproductive Rights : an Intergenerational Conversation. Oakland, CA: The Institute for Democratic Education and Culture, 2021. 
    “Two women of different generations and personal histories talk about their views on reproductive rights. Zoom video, includes chat messages. Part of SpeakOut's 2021 virtual events schedule. 
  • Porter, Dawn, Marilyn Ness, and Dawn (Dawn Michele) Porter. Trapped. Sausalito, CA: Ro*Co Films, 2016.  
    “As the battle heads to the U.S. Supreme Court [circa 2016], TRAPPED follows the struggles of the clinic workers and lawyers fighting to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women.” 
  • Tajima-Pena, Renee, Virginia Espino, Claudio Rocha, Johanna Demetrakas, Bronwen Jones, Maria Hurtado, Consuelo Hermosillo, Antonia Hernández, and Bernard Rosenfeld. No Más Bebés = No More Babies. Los Angeles, California: Moon Canyon Films, 2015. 
    "The story of Mexican immigrant women who were pushed into sterilization while giving birth at L.A. County hospital during the 1970s. Alongside intrepid young Chicana/o lawyers and a whistle-blowing doctor, the mothers stood up to powerful institutions in the name of justice"--Container. 
  • Tamarkin, Fisher, Luchina, Arnesen, Ingrid, Filmer, Steve, Johnson, Suzanne D., White, Brad, Futterman, Joel, Levin, Ike, Tamarkin Productions, production company, & Women Make Movies , publisher. (2017). Birthright : a war story. [Women Make Movies]. 
    In America today [circa 2017], a radical movement has tightened its grip on state power, seeking to control whether and how women bear children. In this crusade, pregnant women are subject to state control, surveillance, and punishment. Even women who don't want an abortion face shocking risks.” --Container