Is it not an assault on Black people’s reproductive rights to brutally and systematically deny us the opportunity to raise children who will grow to adulthood, who can experience the world with childlike wonder? Is it not an assault on Black people’s reproductive rights to tell us we give birth to future criminals and not innocent children, to murder one of us every 28 hours and leave a family in mourning?
Those victims are not just statistics; they are people, with bodies and families and future generations who will never see them smile again. They are children, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, and chosen family members. They are integral parts of communities that raise children. As RH Reality Check senior legal analyst Imani Gandytweeted, we cannot ignore the truth that “police violence against black and brown people is a reproductive justice issue.”
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.