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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reproductive justice and abolition : an intersectional analysis of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in the Canadian carceral system Stanley, Hannah


Abolition and abolitionist movements have the ability to address the dismantling of multiple oppressive structures and institutions, including slavery, policing, prisons, detention centres, and borders. The scope of this paper focusses on the prison and carceral aspects of abolition in an effort to provide an anti-colonial, intersectional analysis of Canadian prisons. In addition to a general intersectional analysis of the Canadian carceral system, this thesis specifically examines sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) violations in Canadian prisons and the lack of Reproductive Justice (RJ) for those who are incarcerated. This paper ultimately argues that if we take the meaning of intersectionality seriously, recognizing that colonial violence, criminalization and incarceration, and reproductive violence are interconnected and reinforcing forms of oppression, we understand that there can be no Reproductive Justice without abolition. Abolition is a crucial step in the fight for Reproductive Justice in Canada because the Canadian carceral system not only jeopardizes the self-governance and body sovereignty of individuals, but also the self-governance, self-determination and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples on their own territories, acting as a continuation of genocide. The Reproductive Justice framework and subsequent movement(s) can help us address SRHR in Canadian prisons from an intersectional standpoint. Dismantling the carceral system — a key “actor” in the settler state of Canada — is a crucial point on the path to intersectional, decolonial Reproductive Justice for all people.

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