Nós por nós

Editorial - Reproductive (in)justice: our lives matter!

The journalistic series (In)reproductive justice: our lives matter! presents nine reports, one for each state in the Northeast region, about emblematic cases of violations of sexual rights and reproductive rights, from the perspective of Reproductive Justice. The series is the result of a preliminary clipping on Sexual Rights and Reproductive Rights in the Northeast Region , which aimed to identify the speeches and narratives about this agenda in different segments of the press, in all states in the region.

Under technical consultancy for clipping and writing by journalists Eduarda Nunes and Jô Pontes, based on the editorial and methodological coordination of Alane Reis, we entered the universe of journalistic narratives around sexual rights and reproductive rights in the region, with the aim of identifying how the Patriarchal racism not only influences, but determines, how the stories of life and death of northeastern girls and women, almost all of them black, are told and shared in the public sphere.

It is heartbreaking and revolting how even today journalism has functioned in the service of conservative racist racist sexist Christian powers and values, which under a vigilante and bureaucratic rage, revictimizes and criminalizes desperate poor black girls and women, raped and abandoned since childhood to the cruelty of abusive men, as can be seen in the report “ The imposition of motherhood for the 12-year-old girl from Piauí ”, which tells the story of the child pregnant for the second time.

The girl from Piauí is one of the 179,277 cases of rape or rape of a vulnerable person, which occurred in Brazil between 2017 and 2022. Of these victims, at least 62 thousand were under 10 years of age. This reality demonstrates that among the many urgent needs of Reproductive Justice, the defense of Sexual Education can save lives, as stated in the report “ Sexual education in schools prevents and combats violence against children and adolescents ”.

Another urgent and emerging issue on this agenda is medical power and corporatism, which covers the negligence, violence and discrimination of this professional class that acts without worrying about the law when it comes to obstetric violence, as this violation of the rights of people who management and stop, it is not even monitored and criminalized by the State, as we will see in the reports “ Obstetric violence in Sergipe: A silenced problem ” and “ The Childbirth Pilgrimage: In Ceará, cases of women who gave birth on sidewalks awaken to the problem of obstetric violence in the state ”.

Another aspect of obstetric violence that has been historically denounced by Black Women’s Movements concerns forced tubal ligation procedures. Between the 1970s and 1990s, the mass sterilization of black women was a form of genocide of the black Brazilian population that was denounced worldwide, and anyone who believes that this practice is a thing of the past is mistaken. Check out the report “ Forced sterilization of black women still persists in the Northeast of Brazil ”.

Still on medical supremacy in the sexual and reproductive health ecosystem, we reflect on the dispute between this category and nurses, in relation to the implantation of Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) – an important family and reproductive planning measure, as reported in the report “ Political disputes interfere in expanding access to family planning in Alagoas ”.

The defense of our rights is and always has been our own responsibility, and in this sense, women’s movements never stop renewing themselves in creativity and proactivity in creating actions that guarantee access to health, see the report “ In Maranhão , debate on Menstrual Dignity makes a collective of girls and teenagers grow politically ”.

Each period presents its challenges in relation to Reproductive Justice. Between 2015 and 2017, Brazil experienced the height of the triple epidemic of Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya. In the Northeast of the country, the region most affected by the health outbreak – the result of neglect by state governments – a generation of thousands of children were born with microcephaly, caused by fetal malformation, as consequences in pregnant women who fell ill during the epidemic. Years later, how do these women and children live? This is what the report “ Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome in Pernambuco and the collective strengthening of black, poor and peripheral women, mothers of children with microcephaly ” presents.

In the series, there was also his own criticism of journalistic coverage in relation to issues of sexual and reproductive rights, which you can see in the report “ The disservice of the major media in Rio Grande do Norte to Sexual and Reproductive Rights in the state ”.

Check out the complete series on Nós por Nós – Observatory of Reproductive Justice of the Northeast


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