SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, formerly Georgians for Choice (GfC), began as a meeting place for pro-choice organizations in Atlanta to discuss legislative strategy. Twenty-one years later, GfC grew to a coalition of 50 member organizations working on reproductive rights, domestic violence, LBGTQ politics, racial justice and more.
As our coalition grew, we realized we needed a broader framework encompassing the complexities of women’s, girl’s, and Georgian’s lives that went beyond “choice”. While “choice” was important, many Georgians were being given choices that were not just. People were asked to choose between health care and putting food on the table. Mothers were asked to choose between their jobs and childcare. Youth were asked to choose between access to sexual health services and parental notification. We saw that for many Georgians the language of “choice” did not always resonate — they wanted justice.
During this time, the reproductive justice framework was also making its way onto the national radar. Created by women of color to specifically address the needs of our communities, the RJ framework was centered on “justice” instead of “choice”. The RJ framework reflects the complexities of most people’s lives, seeing the connections between reproductive health and immigrant rights, environmental justice, and sexual violence, just to name a few.
With the help of a grant from the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, GfC was provided with a consultant to guide the organization through a strategic planning process. During this process, we reassessed our vision, mission, and values and eventually came to a new name, logo, and website.
The new name reflected the change in thinking and organizing from a solely “choice” framework to a reproductive justice framework. It also reflected that our movement (both locally and nationally) was going through a shift from single-issue politics to a more multi-issue, holistic politic that could hold all of who we are.
We are thankful to the many SPARK supporters who have helped make this needed transition powerful and full of possibilities and with your support, we will continue this important work.