Immigration Is A Reproductive Justice Issue

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Photo by Vincent Reinhart

Last summer, it was exposed to the world that the United States of America is still up to its racist shenanigans- putting a group of people who are not white into what is essentially a concentration camp. We did it to the Japanese, we exploited Black people for free labor then decided to skirt Emancipation by implementing the 13th Amendment, and we did it to Indigenous people through forced relocation to exploit natural resources.

Immigration is a reproductive justice issue.

Parents deserve to raise their families in safe communities with the resources to take care of their families. People who decide to carry their pregnancy to term deserve access to quality, nondiscriminatory prenatal care and to give birth in a safe environment. Pregnant people who want to terminate their pregnancy deserve to make their own medical decisions without government interference from any level of government in the United States or in their home country.

The Trump Administration decided that in order to discourage migrating families from coming to the United States, they should be separated (let’s be real, this did not start with Trump but it did get much worse) then tell parents or guardians to “self-deport” in order to get their children back. Detention is not just hard on the parents, having their children ripped away, but it’s even harder on the children, who will live with the trauma of inhumane treatment for the rest of their lives. Disgusting is what we say to that tactic.

Pregnant people coming to the United States for a better life are also at risk. To date, there are 28 reported cases of miscarriages. A woman who was about four months pregnant miscarried while detained and was refused adequate care. There are multiple reports of being refused care as needed and there is no consistency when providing prenatal care. New Mexico is one of the states where this is happening.

Under the Obama Administration, there was a rule that prohibited pregnant people from being detained but the Trump Administration rolled back that rule and released this standard operating procedure (SOP)– without the fanfare- about detaining pregnant people. Only Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is required to report miscarriages.

Let’s not pretend that these policies are not rooted in white supremacy. We don’t see a “border crisis” with Canada and we currently have a “Muslim ban” in place. So much for Christian values from a party that advocates for families to be ripped apart, children to be traumatized, and pregnant people denied care, all for the sake of “America first”.