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Birth Justice Framework

Birth Justice recognizes that all peoples can birth and be parents; People of color, immigrant peoples, and LGBTQ+ communities in particular have survived a history of trauma and oppression around our decisions to have and not have babies. We know that when we, mothers and parents, are empowered, our community is transformed. If we bring our babies into the world, with justice, in the natural way, without anyone telling us how to do it, then it nurtures our innate power as mothers and parents to create a free world for our children to play and learn and grow.

Birth Justice includes access to health care during the childbearing year that is holistic, humanistic, and culturally centered. This health care is across the pregnancy spectrum including: abortion, miscarriage, prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. Birth Justice includes the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy, to choose when, where how, and with whom to birth, including access to traditional and indigenous healers, such as midwives and other birth workers, and the right to breastfeeding support. The complete range of pregnancy, labor, and birth options should be available to everyone as an integral part of reproductive justice. These are our rights as mothers and parents.

Birth Justice Bill of Rights

As a Black pre-conception, pregnant, birthing or postpartum person, I have the right to:

 

  1. STAND AGAINST RACISM.
  2. KNOW MY HISTORY AND RESIST INSTITUTIONAL RACISM.
  3. HONOR MY VALUES.
  4. EXPRESS MY CULTURE.
  5. DEVELOP A NETWORK OF SAFETY AND SUPPORT.
  6. REPRESENT MY BLACKNESS.
  7. CARE FOR ALL MY IDENTITIES.
  8. PROTECTION FROM VIOLENCE.
  9. UNDERSTAND MY HEALTH.
  10. RESPECT MY FAMILY STRUCTURE.
  11. COMPREHENSIVE CARE AFTER I GIVE BIRTH.
  12. SUPPORT FROM MY DOULA.
  13. ACCESS TO EVERYTHING I NEED TO BE HEALTHY.
  14. SUPPORT IN REDUCING STRESS.
  15. INCLUSION IN THE DECISIONS THAT AFFECT ME.
  16. ENSURE ACCESS TO ALL BIRTH CARE OPTIONS.
  17. HONOR THE NATURAL BIRTH PROCESS.
  18. SUPPORT MY BABY’S RIGHT TO HUMAN MILK.
  19. GET A SECOND OPINION.
  20. ADVOCATE FOR MY RIGHTS.
  21. TIME TO HEAL AND BOND.
  22. RECOGNIZE THAT MY BODY IS ALWAYS MINE.

Young Black Mothers

Black Mamas are Powerful

 

This Birth Justice Bill of Rights is your tool to know your rights and advocate for the respectful care you deserve. 

Download PDF

Jamarah Amani unpacks the Birth Justice Bill of Rights in Part 1 of a 3 part webinar series on Birth Advocacy.  Check it out!