The third episode of Material Girls is about reproductive justice. We talk about ‘choice’ in a capitalist, racist, patriarchal society, and what this means for our bodies, our lives and our families. We were also extremely lucky to speak to Maev McDaid about the campaign for free, safe, legal and local abortions in the north and south of Ireland.
Reproductive justice is the framework used by some anti-capitalist feminists to explain the impact that social forces have on our ability to make free decisions about how we live. Low wages, borders, high rents and cuts to services shape our lives in ways which have more or less impact on us depending on our class, race, gender, sexuality or ability. If you’re an undocumented migrant and your options are a £1300 bill for an abortion or a £4000 bill for a birth, how can your choice be said to be meaningful? Around the world people are caught between policies which prevent them from accessing abortions and other reproductive healthcare, and policies which deny them the material support they need to raise children in comfort and safety.
But people are fighting back. Maev tells about the Repeal campaign in the south of Ireland, and about the push to extend abortion rights to the north. She talks about the solidarity that extended across the border, and about how they resisted attacks from the anti-choice campaign by talking about practical support and care on the doorstep. At a time when right-wing governments are pushing a nationalist, heteronormative ‘family values’ agenda, learning lessons about how we win is more important than ever.
We’re looking for guests who’d like to join in the discussion or be interviewed. We’d particularly love to hear from women of colour, black women and trans women, who are not represented by our regular hosts. You can also let us know if you’re doing some feminist organising that you’d like us to plug, especially if it’s happening outside of London. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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