Advancing Birth Justice

Happening Now
Eliminating Racial & Economic Disparities

For more than two decades, the reproductive justice movement, led by Black women, has pushed for the basic human rights we all share, including the right of all people to live their healthiest lives, the right of people who can become pregnant to choose when and whether to become parents, and the right of every person to parent their children with dignity and in safety. 

One of NIRH’s primary areas of focus is eliminating racial and economic disparities in reproductive health care, with a particular emphasis on birth justice, where we see some of the gravest disparities in health outcomes for parents and children. 

Birth justice includes giving pregnant and birthing people all the resources and access to care that they need to make the best decisions for themselves, in full autonomy. 

To secure birth justice, eliminate the unacceptably high death rates for Black women and infants, and create healthier communities, we are working to:

  • Increase access to doulas (which research has shown improves pregnancy outcomes, especially for low-income women of color)
  • Expand access to insurance coverage (including Medicaid coverage for at least 12 months after a pregnancy ends)
  • Address racially discriminatory policies and practices in medical systems, and create maternal mortality commissions focused on improving birth outcomes
  • We also look for opportunities to focus on individuals whose health care is under the control of governments, including those in the carceral system or in foster care.