Our VoiceImmigration

Reproductive Agents: The Right-Wing Vilification of Immigrant Women’s Fertility


Rebecca Poswolsky • Mar 15, 2011

The Population and Development Program at Hampshire University released its spring 2011 DifferenTakes journal.  The journal focuses on the anti-immigrant movement and the greening of hate, and includes a piece written by Hampshire College student and Imagine 2050 writer Susana Sanchez, titled, “Reproductive Agents: The Right-Wing Vilification of Immigrant Women’s Fertility.”

Sanchez’s article looks at right-wing attacks on women’s rights, the Fourteenth Amendment and birthright citizenship. Here is an excerpt:

The effect of a law removing the pathway to citizenship from the children of a group of people living and working in the U.S. would be a reproductive control policy that es­sentially threatens immigrants—who are largely people of color—not to reproduce.

The article continues to lay out the Fourteenth Amendment, its initial intent and the threat it poses to women of color and women’s reproductive justice if it is removed:

The United States cannot romanticize its colonial history by continuing to call itself a country of im­migrants, or a country built by immigrants, even as it creates civil rights tiers of citizens, first class citizens and “U.S. born-aliens.” There is no evidence that the U.S. Congress intended to create citizenship categories in its ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment: on the contrary, the Citizenship Clause grants U.S. citizenship to all persons born in the United States regardless of race or legal status. Creating such categories of condi­tional citizenship will allow current political biases to disproportionally affect women of color, and curtail their reproductive freedom. The Fourteenth Amend­ment presents this country with a legacy and a man­date to continue working toward a more equitable and egalitarian society. Let’s move forward in this legacy, not backwards.

Click here to read the full journal article.

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