It is not hard to tell what kind of persons penned the University of Chicago’s “abguide,” given passages like this:
*While this guide may refer to “women” when discussing study results or use female pronouns in some instances, we recognize that individuals seeking pregnancy counseling or abortion may not identify as women. We encourage readers to keep this in mind and provide sensitive counseling and care.
Abguide.uchicago.edu is the University of Chicago’s online abortion guide, “Accessing Abortion in Illinois: A Guide for Health Care and Social Service Providers,” and the above sentences appear on the homepage, presumably to prevent visitors from journeying further into the site still clinging to a binary view of gender. Created by the university’s Section of Family Planning & Contraceptive Research and its (deep breath) Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health, or Ci3, the abguide is a narrowly tailored resource: Only those determined to counsel women not to seek an alternative to terminating their pregnancy need peruse.
The site contains a predictable conglomeration of reassuring abortion statistics, warnings against crisis-pregnancy centers, and paeans to the importance of value-free pregnancy-option counseling. If, however, your values need “clarification,” you can access this handy worksheet developed by the National Abortion Federation.
All of this, the site announces on its homepage, “should be considered through a reproductive justice framework. . . . As described in one foundational document, the reproductive justice framework recognizes that ‘women’s ability to exercise self-determination — including in their reproductive lives — is impacted by power inequities inherent in our society’s institutions, environment, economics, and culture.’”
The foundational document in question is “A New Vision,” published in 2005 by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ). The “Reproductive Justice Movement” — yes, there’s a movement — “explor[es] and articulat[es] the intersection of racism, sexism, xenophobia, heterosexism, and class oppression in women’s lives.” Because “reproductive oppression” is “both a tool and a result of systems of oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age and immigration status,” reproductive justice must “engage with issues such as sex trafficking, youth empowerment, family unification, educational justice, unsafe working conditions, domestic violence, discrimination of queer and transgendered communities, immigrant rights, environmental justice, and globalization.” The ACRJ casts a wide net.