Reproductive justice includes the right to control the timing and spacing of children, if one wants to have them at all, but the issue of starting families and the right to have children is often overlooked, particularly among mainstream organisations. For some groups of marginalised people (such as the LGBQT community and communities of colour), this right is critically threatened and in need of protection just as much as the right to access contraception and abortion services is; among disabled people, for example, there is a very real risk that the right to have and keep children without interference will be restricted thanks to attitudes about disability and parenting.
There’s a common belief that disabled people are not capable of parenting, particularly if they have cognitive, intellectual, or developmental impairments, or if they have physical impairments. An estimated 30% of disabled people, in contrast with 40% of nondisabled people, are parents struggling in a world where the right to parent is not protected if you don’t have a normative body or brain. When your child can be taken from you because of who you are, you live in a constant state of tension; simply wheeling down the street with your child can become a balancing act. Continue reading “Disability and Reproductive Justice” »