Date of Graduation

Winter 12-11-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


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First Advisor

Dr. Marie-Claude Couture

Second Advisor

Dr. Taryn Vian



Reproductive rights (RR) have been defined as all individuals and couples having the basic right to “decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so” (United Nations Population Division, n.d.). Reproductive justice (RJ) was born from combining reproductive rights with social justice (Ross & Solinger, 2017, p. 9) and goes beyond RR by placing a greater emphasis on access. Access takes other factors into consideration such as the disproportionate number of women of color who cannot afford abortion care or are unable to travel long distances to their nearest clinic (Ross & Solinger, 2017), suggesting choice is irrelevant without access. Additionally, reproductive justice addresses the exceptional systemic challenges women of color often experience in accessing contraception, sexually transmitted infection prevention and treatment, sex education, adequate pregnancy care, alternative birthing options, fair wages, safe homes, domestic violence support, and more (Ross & Solinger, 2017).

The state of Texas was ranked among the lowest states for access to health care and affordability by the Commonwealth Fund (Hasstedt, 2014). Activists in the state are forced to continuously combat restrictive abortion legislation yet maintaining the legal status of abortion is only one step in the pursuit of reproductive justice. Asylum seekers and undocumented women in Texas might be the most vulnerable population regarding reproductive justice as their rights per this movement are gravely and repeatedly violated. State policymakers continuously pass legislation to make abortion care inaccessible, which disproportionately impact immigrant and other marginalized communities.

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