Zeroed out: Reproductive Justice for Women of Color held in immigrant detention in the U.S. The 2020 Irwin County Detention Center case
Levy Mora, ALMA
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The U.S. has a colonial and imperialist history of reproductive oppression towards women’s bodies, sexuality, labor, reproduction, and parenting. Although feminist groups in the U.S. have advocated for decades to obtain the legalization of abortion, birth control, and the contraceptive pill, as part of the Pro-choice struggles, this movement has not considered other oppressions besides those experienced by white women, therefore, a Reproductive Justice framework is fundamental. Women of color in detention face several oppressions that do not allow them to have choices, nor rights. Forced sterilization practices and medical abuses against different communities in the U.S. have been widely documented. Nevertheless, these practices continue to occur nowadays. Women of color in detention face multiple intersections of oppressions that drive them far from accessing justice, and the immigration detention system is responsible for countless human rights violations and structural violence. The main questions that I seek to provide an answer for with this research are: to what extent is women of color’s access to Reproductive Justice hindered by the structural violence embedded in the U.S. immigration detention system, allowing the continuation of forced sterilizations and other non-consensual abusive gynecological procedures, as for example, those occurred in Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) nowadays? And what strategies of resistance have taken non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and women of color against these abuses?