Undivided Rights captures the evolving and largely unknown activist history of women of color organizing for reproductive justice--on their own behalf.
Undivided Rights presents a textured understanding of the reproductive rights movement by placing the experiences, priorities, and activism of women of color in the foreground. Using historical research, original organizational case studies, and personal interviews, the authors illuminate how women of color have led the fight to control their own bodies and reproductive destinies. Undivided Rights shows how women of color--starting within their own Latina, African American, Native American, and Asian American communities--have resisted coercion of their reproductive abilities. Projected against the backdrop of the mainstream pro-choice movement and radical right agendas, these dynamic case studies feature the groundbreaking work being done by health and reproductive rights organizations led by women-of-color.
The book details how and why these women have defined and implemented expansive reproductive health agendas that reject legalistic remedies and seek instead to address the wider needs of their communities. It stresses the urgency for innovative strategies that push beyond the traditional base and goals of the mainstream pro-choice movement--strategies that are broadly inclusive while being specific, strategies that speak to all women by speaking to each woman. While the authors raise tough questions about inclusion, identity politics, and the future of women’s organizing, they also offer a way out of the limiting focus on "choice."
Undivided Rights articulates a holistic vision for reproductive freedom. It refuses to allow our human rights to be divvied up and parceled out into isolated boxes that people are then forced to pick and choose among.
What People Are Saying
"Undivided Rights is the most complete account of the vital contribution made by women of color to the contemporary reproductive rights movement. By giving these organizers the attention they deserve, the authors illuminate a distinctive vision for reproductive health and freedom that demands an end to social inequities. Essential reading for anyone committed to the struggle for reproductive justice." Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
"For most women of color in the United States, our herstories are grounded in the sobering fact that our foremothers and our mothers didn’t have control over their reproductive freedom. And yet, many valiantly resisted. I am a generational beneficiary of that resistance.Undivided Rights is a necessary and compelling documentation of African-American/Black, Indigenous/Native American, Latin@, Asian and Pacific Islander women health activists’ radical organizing, which resulted in the reproductive justice movement. Moving beyond the important question of “choice,” this groundbreaking text demonstrates how reproductive justice is “theory, a lived practice, and a strategy,” which focuses on all aspects of women of color reproductive health and lives. It squarely places those women who are the most marginalized front and center of any dialogue or movement that is focused on all women’s health. Undivided Rights is as timely in 2016 if not more so now than it was when it was first published in 2004." Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Producer/Writer/Director, NO! The Rape Documentary
“A thorough and impassioned history of the too-often hidden activism of women of color, Undivided Rights is a welcome and necessary addition to feminist literature.” Sonia Shah, Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire
“What is unique about Undivided Rights is that it demonstrates that women of color have always been central in the struggle for reproductive rights and corrects the white-dominated narratives of the history of reproductive rights movements. Because it focuses on women of color organizing, it helps decenter the ‘pro-choice’ paradigm and situates reproductive justice within a larger framework of social, political, and economic justice.” Andrea Smith, founding member, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
“Undivided Rights offers an impressive account of specific African American, Native American, Asian American, and Latina organizations that have fought to make a variety of reproductive health rights a reality for women of color. It demonstrates the overlaps and differences between issues of reproductive health as they arise in various communities of color and documents both historical and contemporary contours of community struggles for reproductive justice. An accessible and important resource for anyone who wishes to understand the ways in which women of color have both practically and theoretically expanded the terrain of feminist concerns about reproductive rights and justice.” Uma Narayan, author, Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism
“Undivided Rights brings together stories of victory and challenge of women of color reproductive rights organizing. It documents the foundation of our current work and provides newer organizations and younger activists with lessons learned and with the inspiration to continue the struggle for reproductive justice. This book is a much needed and long awaited contribution to women’s history.” Silvia Henriquez, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health