(Aug 2018) On the Revolutionary Road to Reproductive Justice

by Michelle Truong, International Women’s Health Coalition
August 6, 2018

Dr. Willie Parker is an abortion provider because of, not despite, his Christian faith. At a moment when refusal of care due to conscience claims obstructs reproductive justice, emphasizing the role conscience plays in compassionate and ethical medical care, as Dr. Parker does, means a revolutionary shift in thinking about power—prioritizing the needs of the woman seeking care.

The use of conscience claims to deny health care services is a focal point in current debates on abortion access and was a central issue at the recent Abortion and Reproductive Justice Conference (ARJC) in South Africa. In an auspicious start to the ARJC, the host-city, formerly known as Grahamstown, had recently voted to discard the name of Graham, a brutal colonizer, to rename in honor of Makhanda, a Xhosa freedom fighter and philosopher.

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