Reproductive Justice Beyond Rights


This three-part speaker series addressed the current moment of public health crisis with guest speakers from the fields of reproductive and sexual rights legal advocacy, ethnographic research, and feminist activist praxis. As an integral part of the Spring 2020 course “Reproductive Rights as Human Rights,” speakers helped students think about the current moment in light of the Zika epidemic in Brazil, the “end of AIDS” in Peru, and feminist movements and strategies in Mexico. Making these connections, the class deepened its thinking around the limits and possibilities of transnational human rights and different ways of envisioning and practicing reproductive justice. 

For more information, contact Postdoctoral Instructor Amy Krauss.

Speaker 1: Gabriela Rondon
Gabriela Rondon is coordinator of the legal clinic Cravinas–Practice in Human Rights and Sexual and Reproductive Rights at the University of Brasilia and consultant at Anis–Institute of Bioethics. Her research focuses on constitutional law, legal mobilization, and public health, with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“Critics have already been saying, ‘We’re in the middle of a pandemic where we’re trying to save lives, and now the supreme court wants to rule against life and in favor of abortion!’ And we’re going to say, ‘No. What’s happening is we’re finally taking seriously what a public health emergency looks like for vulnerable populations, and in particular, vulnerable girls and women.’”

Speaker 2: Justin Perez
Justin Perez is Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at UC–Santa Cruz. His current book project, Scandalous Subjects: Technologies of Queer Becoming before the End of AIDS, investigates how technological and biomedical developments in HIV prevention, alongside broader economic and political transformations in global health, shape queer subjects across Latin America.

“On the one hand, ethnographically, people have a rich vocabulary and lexicon for talking about themselves, and [on the other], they are able to draw on the terms that are required for accessing HIV treatment and care. If your only health clinic is organized around the categories of LGBT, that necessitates a degree of legibility as one of those terms.”

Speaker 3: Oriana López Uribe
Oriana López Uribe is the Executive Director of the Mexican NGO Balance and representative of the MARIA Abortion Fund for Social Justice, both based in Mexico City. She has decades of experience working on activist projects for sexual rights from a social justice perspective. She has worked specifically to promote young people’s rights and the needs of LGBTQ people, to broaden the scope of policies on gender equality, and to create an effective response to gender violence and violence against women. Since 2010, she has specialized in training abortion doulas and reducing stigma at the individual and collective level.

“So yes, I think that people need to break the rules. I think that’s why, for example, you have conscientious objection, because the law allows you to have free will.... My conscientious objection would be to give all of the abortions that people need. My conscience will not allow me to not give a woman an abortion that she needs, if I know how to do it. Because that’s what justice is for me.”