Much of the conversation concerning women’s health in public health research and advocacy is in dialogue with reproductive rights, or how the legal right to certain services — contraception, abortion, etc. — impacts health outcomes for women as an individual category of identity.
This rights discourse is useful and important. Yet, public health research cannot meaningfully move forward without a more nuanced and accurate understanding of how social, economic, and political injustices interact with intersecting understandings of identity (race, sex, class, disability status, and more) to produce health inequalities.
By centering these larger conditions that shape and constrict people’s reproductive lives, a reproductive justice framework has much to offer public health. In this session, scholars and advocates will be in conversation to discuss the gaps between these ‘rights’ and ‘justice’ frameworks and talk about ways that public health research can better serve women, children, and families by incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences into its analyses.