National Women’s Law Center: Expanding the Possibilities. “If You Really Care about LGBT Rights, You Should Care About Reproductive Justice!,” October 2011. http://www.nwlc.org.
In this fact sheet, the National Women’s Law Center discusses the connection between reproductive justice and LGBT rights. The center emphasizes that the LGBT movement includes an individual’s right to control one’s own reproductive destiny as well as the freedom of sexual activity without reproduction. The health disparities associated with the omission of LGBT sexuality within health education and services, particularly among LGBT youth, are outlined. The authors state that inadequate professional training and the lack of evidence-based research regarding LGBT health leads to culturally incompetent and poor quality care. The misconception that queer women are not at risk for pregnancy related to voluntary or involuntary sexual contact is challenged. For these women, reproductive justice ensures they have the resources and support to make informed health decisions. The Center outlines barriers to LGBT family building, including unequal and discriminatory access to health insurance, and infertility and adoption services. The government regulation and limitations that transgendered individuals encounter in controlling their gender identities and bodies are discussed, emphasizing the role of economic and social supports in achieving reproductive and sexual freedom.
The National Women’s Law Center concludes their article with concrete ways that one can support LGBT equality and reproductive justice. From within a social justice framework, the authors call for local, state, and national recognition and respect for the reproductive and sexual rights of all. This article is useful for those inquiring about LGBT health care needs and reproductive health disparities within this community.