Birth Justice NL is a Newfoundland and Labrador-based non-profit seeking to remove obstacles to adequate reproductive health care, child care, reproductive education, and other barriers to maintaining personal bodily autonomy, choosing to have or not have children, and raising the children of our province in safe and caring communities. Our advocacy draws upon the Reproductive Justice framework, as well as the lived experiences of community members, and evidence based research.
Birth Justice NL was formed in 1994 under the name Friends of Midwifery of Newfoundland and Labrador. Since its inception, the group has always believed midwives to be an essential part of a comprehensive health care system, and the option of midwifery care to be a right of all birthing people and newborns in this province. Our priorities have since expanded to include other challenges faced by parents before, during, and after birth. Our work includes building public and political awareness of the valuable contributions comprehensive reproductive health care can make to health in the province; answering inquiries from the general public, and providing reproductive health information through events such as film nights and workshops; collaborating with other organizations and supporting relevant ongoing advocacy efforts; and lobbying Government directly for increased access to fertility treatments, perinatal mental health supports, independent prenatal education, and the expansion of midwifery services to all parts of the province. Birth Justice NL believes that everyone should have the right to choose if, how, and where to bring their little ones into the world.
REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE FRAMEWORK
SisterSong, the world’s largest multi-ethnic Reproductive Justice collective, defines Reproductive Justice as "the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities. The term Reproductive Justice was coined in Chicago in 1994 by a group of Black women determined to address the shortcomings of the women’s rights movement, which was predominantly led by and representing middle class and wealthy white women.
Reproductive Justice is based on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the internationally accepted global standard for human rights. This framework focuses on access to options, because making an option legal does not necessarily make that option accessible. Reproductive Justice encompasses a wide array of issues, including but not limited to contraception, comprehensive sexual education, STI prevention and care, abortion, independent prenatal education, alternative birth options, adequate prenatal and pregnancy care, fertility treatments, domestic violence assistance, affordable childcare, safe housing, nutritious food, and a living wage.
Reproductive Justice is a movement for everyone. This framework recognizes and seeks to abolish systemic barriers related to gender, race and ethnicity, Indigeneity, ability, physical and mental health, age, and socio-economic status. This awareness of intersecting oppressions serves to create a movement for people of all different backgrounds to come together and work towards freedom for all oppressed people.