Is Choice a Human Right? Reproductive Justice in the U.S


Is Choice a Human Right? Reproductive Justice in the U.S


Loretta Ross



Some consider a safe and healthy birth a human right. In the U.S., however, it is not a right that is fully protected for all women, especially women of color. African American women die during childbirth three to four times more often than white women. SisterSong Women’s Health Collective is an organization attempting to limit needless deaths by shifting the focus of reproductive justice to the oppression women encounter during child birth through “their bodies, sexuality, labor and reproduction.” As the organization’s motto states, SisterSong is committed to “doing collectively what we cannot do individually.” SisterSong began in 1997, with a grant from the Ford Foundation, and provides access to health services, along with relevant information and resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. In an effort to achieve reproductive justice, this collective works to “strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color” through public policy work, advocacy, service delivery and health education within our communities on the local, national and international levels.

Loretta Ross is Founding Member and National Coordinator of SisterSong.

Publication Date



reproductive justice, human rights, women of color, African American women, childbirth, SisterSong, women's health collective, indigenous women


Family, Life Course, and Society | Health Policy | Maternal and Child Health | Women's Health

Is Choice a Human Right? Reproductive Justice in the U.S