6. Reproductive Justice

“We believe reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls, and will be achieved when women and girls have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction for ourselves, our families and our communities in all areas of our lives.

Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice in A New Vision for Advancing our Movement for Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, and Reproductive Justice

photo credit: @BRIT for nappy.co


This module provides an introduction to the relationships between feminism, reproductive rights, reproductive justice, and bodily autonomy.  First, we will consider the relationship between early feminist struggles for political rights, white nationalism, and reproduction through an examination of the Famous Five’s maternal feminism and support for eugenics. Next, we will examine the distinction between reproductive rights and reproductive justice.  We will consider key moments in the struggle for reproductive rights in Canada as well as ongoing struggles for reproductive justice. You’ll listen to a documentary about the Abortion Caravan, read the Abortion Caravan’s demands, and learn about pregnancy as a “manly art.”

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Define maternal feminism and explain the relationship between maternal feminism, suffrage, and eugenics 
  • Define miscegenation and explain how Canadian law has attempted to prevent miscegenation 
  • Provide contemporary examples of eugenics in Canada 
  • Identify key moments in the struggle for reproductive rights in Canada and explain their significance, including: the abortion caravan and R. v. Morgentaler
  • Explain the difference between reproductive rights and reproductive justice
  • Learn about arguments for making pregnancy gender neutral

Moving Forward