Pop-Up Writing Opportunity: "Being 'Pro-Life' Post-Roe: Embracing Reproductive Justice as a Human Right"
The landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was a critical moment this year – one that had rippling effects across the country, as many state legislatures made it illegal to access abortion (West Virginia and Indiana), while other state leaders reinforced individual’s rights to make personal reproductive decisions (California).
Reports anticipate that the Supreme Court decision will be a main factor in many individual’s voting choices during midterm elections, after months of binary debates among political candidates and in various communities about “pro-life vs. pro-choice” beliefs and practices. Yet, those of us working on reproductive justice (RJ) issues know that many of these conversations oversimplify the reality that being “pro-life” — from a human rights perspective — involves much more than contraception and abortion access.
According to Sister Song, one of the leading multi ethnic RJ collectives in the USA, reproductive justice involves: (1) the right not to have a child; (2) the right to have a child; and (3) the right to raise and nurture children in safe and healthy environments. These rights can only be achieved when all people — particularly BIPOC women (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and transgender and non-binary people — have the complete economic, social, and political power and resources to make autonomous and informed decisions about their bodies and their families.
How can we move towards a future where self-determination, healing justice, and community care inform our conversations, social practices, and governmental policies around RJ?
For this Spark Magazine series, we invite submissions that showcase the breadth, depth, and nuance of reproductive justice efforts across the country — efforts that continue despite the persistent onslaught to constrict people’s rights to make decisions about their bodies and their lives without threat of violence, coercion, stigma or discrimination. Suggested essay topics (which can include multimodal formats, such as video and photos, to accompany the essays) may:
Offer a historical analysis of macro and state level policies (e.g., heartbeat bills) that have impeded upon the bodily autonomy and reproductive rights of individuals who experience structural marginalization
Analyze shifts in public opinions and attitudes that influence decision-making and policy implementation in schools, workplaces, and government settings around RJ issues
Draw connections between traditional notions of reproductive health (e.g., contraception, prenatal care, sex education, and STI prevention) with other RJ issues, such as adequate wages to support families, domestic violence assistance, prison abolition, safe and clean neighborhoods, etc.
Discuss health promotive approaches, interventions, and/or RJ education models that existed before, or were created after, the overturn of Roe to support individual and community needs
Consider the collective agency and coordinated grassroots efforts of Indigenous women, Black and Brown women, and gender non-conforming and trans people (because where there is oppression, there is always resistance!)
Above all, we invite scholars to lean into the visionary possibilities and the spirit of “reproductive justice as human rights,” as they pitch their essays.
Although essays must be grounded in research and scholarship, we welcome scholars to include their own lived experiences (as desired) in relation to their essays. We encourage written pieces from diversity scholars, co-authored pieces from scholars in traditional academic settings and those in public health or non-profit organizational settings, as well as community scholars and leaders whose knowledge, efforts, and actions center on reproductive equity and wellbeing. We seek work that is grounded in and/or emphasizes humanistic and community-led science, in fields including, but not limited to, anthropology, education, disability studies, public health, psychology, sociology, and women’s and gender studies. We are particularly interested in submissions that use an intersectional lens to address how issues of racism, cissexism, classism, xenophobia, and ableism pose barriers to reproductive justice.
Please keep in mind that the audience for the Spark Magazine is not specific to any discipline or education level. Envision the reader as someone with a broad understanding of research and scholarship, but without specific knowledge of your field.
Authors must have previously produced scholarship or creative work directly related to the topic to ground the proposed essay. Priority selection will be given to members of the Diversity Scholars Network and those who co-author with graduate students. Invited contributors will receive writing guidelines to submit a first draft within 4–6 weeks of being accepted and will be assigned an editor.
The series will be curated by Dr. Seanna Leath, Assistant Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
If you have any questions about the pop-up writing opportunity and submission process, please contact Spark managing editor, Laura Sánchez-Parkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.