Women of color bear a relationship to reproduction that is fraught with trauma and state control, a perpetual tightrope that stretches beyond the simple paradigm of “pro-choice” organizing. Police violence against our children is a continuation of the same culture that lynched pregnant Black women, that forcibly sterilized cisgender women of color well into 2010, that has required mandatory sterilization for trans people, that paints reproductive rights as an issue only affecting cisgender women. The unifying message is simple: Black bodies, trans bodies, disabled bodies are not worthy of defending. We do not need to continue existing, to further our legacies.
But our lives matter. We deserve to exist and to thrive. And those of us who fight alongside reproductive justice advocates deserve to have our children’s fates be considered in our work, not simply paid lip service to by pro-life campaigns more concerned with pathologizing Black motherhood than supporting Black children. We deserve to see coverage of Michael Brown in feminist outlets without fearing a parade of racist vitriol in the comments section from white women who turn around and beg us to stand in solidarity with them.