Surge stands with communities whose bodies, lives, and families have been subject to state and social control. We advance racial and reproductive justice through community engagement, education, and policy advocacy by mobilizing communities.
We envision a world where all communities are free from reproductive oppression, racism, and violence.
Values are fundamental principles that guide actions and inform decisions.
The following values foster strategies for advancing reproductive justice. These strategies may include law and policy, education and outreach, service delivery, or other vehicles for change. Rooting reproductive justice strategies in these values can promote collaboration and understanding across diverse constituencies. This values statement is a starting point and will no doubt change and grow as the reproductive justice movement gains momentum. We share these fundamental principles and commit to furthering them in our work to strengthen our movement.
We value access to power and knowledge, and the ability to share experiences of struggle and victory. Everyone must have meaningful access to health care, including reproductive health care, and to truthful, accurately-translated, culturally proficient information about sexuality and reproductive health.
Access exists when:
- Communities are no longer denied institutional and political power.
- The most disadvantaged people (whether they are immigrants, people of color, LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning/queer), or people with a disability) no longer lack access to health care, are made to feel welcome by health care providers, and are never made sites of experimentation.
- People, throughout their lifespans, receive truthful and comprehensive information and services about sex and sexuality.
- Every person in the United States has health care, regardless of actual or perceived citizenship status, provided in a culturally proficient, confidential manner.
We value engagement – within a community and across communities – in moving reproductive justice work forward.
Engagement is critical because:
- Cohesive communities, built with intention, thwart oppression more effectively than isolated individuals.
- In our region, family and community – whether our chosen families, our families of origin, or the communities that surround us – guide our understandings of ourselves, offer us important cultural knowledge, and support self-determination.
- Building communities around shared experience enhances mutual understanding and support.
We value the inherent ability of each person to govern their own decisions and actions, and to refrain from infringing on the freedom of others.
Freedom exists when:
- No one is forced to bear a child, or forego bearing a child, by the state, family coercion, or community pressure.
- No one, regardless of dis/ability, poverty, race, gender, or any other status, is forced to undergo involuntary sterilization or medical interventions.
- Migrant and immigrant communities are valued and have the right to work and move freely.
- The sovereignty of Native American communities in our region is honored and respected.
We value the dignity of each person, and uphold every person’s right to self-determination and the full manifestation of their heritage, culture, community, sexuality, gender, ability, and individuality.
Human dignity is respected when:
- People have their most basic needs met. This includes access to quality healthcare, having sufficient food and money, adequate housing, education, and a safe environment.
- People with and without disabilities have ownership of and decision-making power over their own bodies.
- Elders experience no diminution of these rights, and have the ability to express sexuality and sexual freedom.
We value inclusivity in our movement for reproductive justice.
Inclusivity is critical because:
- People who have been historically marginalized from the movement for reproductive freedom have a critical stake in its success or failure, and offer leadership, insight, and knowledge to further that movement.
- Those who have been privileged must learn to be allies, address internalized superiority, and create room for those who are oppressed. People who have suffered oppression must be free to address it in all its manifestations to create safe space for healing.
- Institutional systems, including health care systems, exclude or harm people based on their nationality, citizenship, language, accent, age, class, economic status, culture, gender identity, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, ability or disability, and other classifications. We strive not to replicate these harms in our movement.
Individuals, families, and communities must be free from violence from institutions, other individuals, family and self.
Safety will be achieved when:
- Individuals and communities live free of violence – whether they are migrating, living on reservation lands, forming or deciding not to form families, organizing communities, or trying to meet basic needs.
- All people have access to resources, including clean and healthy places to live and work.
- Everyone has the political and social power to speak out and seek answers without harmful judgment or violence.
- Social supports, including language access, are available to every individual to help ensure their ability to attain freedom from violence.
- The concept of “safety” is not misused to maintain control over others and resources, to justify violence, or to avoid accountability.
- An individual’s chosen family, which provides individuals with the love, respect, support, and healing to which each person is entitled, is honored and respected.
Potential strategies to be utilized: