In Her Own Words

Below is an excerpt from one of Angela Davis’s essays called “Racism, Birth Control, and Reproductive Rights”, written in 1981 and published in her book Women, Race, and Class. It shows her perspective on the birth control movement that addresses its racist aspects:

Birth control-individual choice, safe contraceptive methods, as well as abortions when necessary-is a fundamental prerequisite for the emancipation of women. Since the right of birth control is obviously adventitious to women of all classes and races, it would appear that even vastly dissimilar women’s groups would have attempted to unite around the issue. In reality, however, the birth control movement has seldom succeeded in uniting women of different social backgrounds, and rarely have the movements’s  leaders popularized the genuine concerns of working class women. But in actuality, the historical record of this movement leaves much to be desired in the realm of challenges to racism and class exploitation…The campaign often failed to provide a voice for women who wanted the right to legal abortions while deploring the social conditions that prohibited them from bearing more children…


In this video Angela Davis shares her thoughts on how the Race, Class, and the Prison Industrial Complex are all tied into one.



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