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Defending Reproductive Justice: An Activist Toolkit

April 20, 2012

During the 2012 election cycle we have certainly seen plenty of examples of what many might refer to as a war on women and women’s rights in the US.

While this is certainly true both rhetorically and legislatively, it is not a new dynamic. Susan Faludi makes the case in her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, a book that was written in 1992.

Faludi and many other feminist writers have been arguing for decades that the patriarchal institutions in US society – governmental, religious and private – have been responding to the gains made by women during the 1960s and 70s and won’t stop until they can undo those gains.

Unfortunately, many progressive sectors have limited the fight to partisan politics, which often ignores how both major parties have been eroding women’s rights, in particular reproductive rights, since the Reagan years.

Fortunately, there are some very good resources available to people who want to fight to protect and expand women’s rights.

One such resource is Defending Reproductive Justice: An Activist Toolkit, produced by the group Political Research Associates. The toolkit was originally published in 2000, but was updated in 2009 and made available online for easier access.

In the reproductive justice toolkit you will find an excellent overview of what the Right Claims about reproductive issues. This information is both disturbing and valuable for anyone who wants to come to terms with what the Right is advocating.

There is a second section that presents a progressive analysis of the Right’s claims, which is highly informative in understanding the evolution of tactics used to undermine reproductive rights.

Another section in the activist toolkit is a list of tips for challenging the Right’s assault on women’s reproductive rights. Some of these tips include the importance of understanding the complexity of this right movement and that we should mostly focus on the issues and not the characters involved.

Lastly, the toolkit provides a solid bibliography for further reading and a resource list of groups across the country that are dedicated to Reproductive Justice.

Stop the War on Women Rally in Grand Rapids

In addition to the activist toolkit, we would encourage people to participate in a public rally being billed as the Stop WOW Rally GR. The rally is being organized by several area women’s groups and will take place on Saturday, May 24 from 6 – 8pm at the Rosa Park’s Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

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