UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute hosted a panel discussion on the fight for reproductive justice Thursday, with panelists focusing on the role of white supremacy in anti-abortion activism and the need to center marginalized people in abortion-rights activism. 

The talk, part of the institute’s Rise Up for Justice series, was titled “Inside the Fight for Reproductive Justice in Critical Times.” The panel was hosted by longtime reproductive justice activist and physician Vicki Alexander, and panelists included Pamela Merritt, the executive director of Medical Students for Choice; Bia Vieira, the chief strategist of programs for the Women’s Foundation of California; and Anise Simon, an abortion storyteller at We Testify. 

The panel began with a poem about reproductive rights. After panelists were introduced, Alexander asked participants to define the term “reproductive justice” and asked what reproductive injustice looked like. 

Merritt said reproductive justice was a “human rights framework” that seeks to give every person the right to decide whether or not they are pregnant. 

Merritt also urged listeners of the panel to reflect on the colonial and white supremacist roots of anti-abortion legislation in the United States. 

“They want to control women for a reason, and they want to control reproduction for a reason,” Merritt said during the event. “This is about population, this is about minority rule, this is about (how) white supremacy cannot function without white population growth.”

Full story at DailyCal.