Last updated December 2022
NRJ operates under a mutual aid framework.
Oppressive systems – such as capitalism – create the conditions for poverty to exist. Mutual aid works to foster community resilience by encouraging people to support each other through voluntary cooperation, solidarity and shared resources in times of need.
All activism begins with Indigenous solidarity.
Solidarity with Indigenous resistance and decolonization is central to reproductive justice. The Niagara Region has been, and continues to be, a site of colonization, and remains the home of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg, Wendat, and Chonnonton nations who have taken care of this land for time immemorial. As reproductive justice advocates, NRJ must prioritize issues faced by Indigenous peoples in all our work.
Sex work is real work.
NRJ calls for the full decriminalization of sex work as well as rights, safety, and respect for all sex workers. All types of labour under capitalism, including sex work, is the selling of one’s skills, knowledge and body. The reproductive justice movement has always relied on sex worker leadership and NRJ is committed to supporting sex workers as we all fight for bodily autonomy from the state.
Black Lives Matter, Black Trans Lives Matter.
Black people, especially Black trans women, face high rates of violence, discrimination, poverty, and experience additional obstacles to accessing sexual health services in Canada. The reproductive justice movement was started by Black women in 1994 to defend the needs of women of colour and to provide a framework for building a world where everyone has access to the resources they need in order to decide when, if, and how to have and raise children with dignity. NRJ seeks to uphold the anti-racist and revolutionary values of the original founders of the movement.
We believe that being pro-choice is not enough.
In order to make choices about your body and your life, you need to have access to the resources you need to make those choices – such as access to healthcare, transportation, money, and a support system. We also need to make sure that, as well as having access to abortion, everyone has the right to have children under the conditions they want to have them, and to raise them in a safe and healthy environment. This means that reproductive justice is deeply connected to other forms of justice, including decolonization, racial justice, prison and police abolition, immigrant justice, environmental justice, economic justice, disability justice, among many others.
We believe in a world where all people have control over their own bodies.
This includes the ability to safely self-prescribe abortion, estrogen, testosterone, and birth control, and freedom from state control over reproduction such as forced sterilization, coerced substance use treatment, incarceration, unjust intervention by the child welfare system, and an end to the forced assimilation and cultural genocide committed against Indigenous families.
We believe in the abolition of prisons and policing.
Regional and national police and military forces, which exist to protect the property of the white wealthy class and maintain class and racial divisions, pose one of the greatest dangers to bodily autonomy. Likewise, prisons are sites of extreme gendered and racialized violence, including sexual violence and denial of healthcare, and are part of the colonial eugenics project. Policing and prisons are incompatible with reproductive justice.
We do not believe in gender policing.
All of our work must be informed by, and help achieve, disability justice.
People with disabilities have always been, and remain, a target of state reproductive violence and control. Similarly, the anti-choice movement has a long history of tokenizing and perpetuating harm against disabled people. It is our job to combat those narratives in all of our work. As an organization we strive to resist ableism in all forms and work towards making our events, meetings, materials, and resources accessible to all.
All of our work must be informed by, and help achieve, fat liberation.
Fatphobia is pervasive within healthcare and prevents people from accessing the healthcare that they want and need, including sexual healthcare and pregnancy support. Fatphobia within the medical system continues to harm and kill individuals. This means that reproductive justice is inextricably tied to fat liberation, where everyone’s ability to participate in society–including access to adequate and affirming sexual and reproductive healthcare–is not determined by their size or ability.
We believe in a harm reduction approach to substance use.
We support the legalization of all substances and access to safer supply. We strive to make our organization, events, and campaigns accessible and safe for people who use substances.
We support the safety and voices of survivors of violence.
This includes, but is not limited to, intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and state violence. Practically, this means we take measures to protect the privacy of people who reach out to us for support, adding a quick exit to our website, and adding content warnings to potentially triggering social media posts. On a bigger scale, this means we support issues which will help end gender-based violence and support survivors, such as prison and police abolition, economic justice, housing for all, and other human rights solutions.
NRJ is a collective of people.
As such we are non-hierarchical and invested in a culture of calling one another in and self education. We also respect that sometimes calling out, rather than calling in, is necessary to create a safe and accountable space.
We are an Action Group of OPIRG Brock.
As such, we follow OPIRG Brock’s Safer Space Policy and procedures in the case of violations of the Safer Space Policy by any members or volunteers. You can access OPIRG Brock’s Safer Space Policy here. For more important policy documents, visit OPIRG Brock’s website at www.opirgbrock.com/important-documents.
As an addition to this policy, NRJ does not engage in debates via social media. Harmful comments on our posts will be deleted and, when appropriate, the person will be sent a private message informing them of our policy and directing them to additional resources. Should the person continue to post harmful comments, they will be blocked from our account.