Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Justice, 0813564689, 0-8135-6468-9, 978-0-8135-6468-5, 9780813564685, , , Reproductive Justice, 0813564697, 0-8135-6469-7, 978-0-8135-6469-2, 9780813564692, , , Reproductive Justice, 0813564700, 0-8135-6470-0, 978-0-8135-6470-8, 9780813564708, , , Reproductive Justice, 0813575427, 0-8135-7542-7, 978-0-8135-7542-1, 9780813575421,
Reproductive Justice

The Politics of Health Care for Native American Women
Barbara Gurr (Author)
192 pages, 6 x 9
Paper, December 2014 $28.95   ADD TO CART
Cloth, December 2014 $90.00   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, December 2014 $28.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
epub, December 2014 $28.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Subject Area:
Sociology, Health Policy and Public Health, Women's Studies, Indigenous Studies


In Reproductive Justice, sociologist Barbara Gurr provides the first analysis of Native American women’s reproductive healthcare and offers a sustained consideration of the movement for reproductive justice in the United States.

The book examines the reproductive healthcare experiences on Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota—where Gurr herself lived for more than a year. Gurr paints an insightful portrait of the Indian Health Service (IHS)—the federal agency tasked with providing culturally appropriate, adequate healthcare to Native Americans—shedding much-needed light on Native American women’s efforts to obtain prenatal care, access to contraception, abortion services, and access to care after sexual assault. Reproductive Justice goes beyond this local story to look more broadly at how race, gender, sex, sexuality, class, and nation inform the ways in which the government understands reproductive healthcare and organizes the delivery of this care. It reveals why the basic experience of reproductive healthcare for most Americans is so different—and better—than for Native American women in general, and women in reservation communities particularly. Finally, Gurr outlines the strengths that these communities can bring to the creation of their own reproductive justice, and considers the role of IHS in fostering these strengths as it moves forward in partnership with Native nations. 

Reproductive Justice offers a respectful and informed analysis of the stories Native American women have to tell about their bodies, their lives, and their communities. 


"Gurr does not present Native women as theorists about these policies. She looks to the promising ways forward offered by Native reproductive justice organizers, while not romanticizing the impact this work has had on communities overall."
—Women's Review of Books

"In Gurr's analysis we hear the voices of Lakota women, we see the structural limitations and oppressions that contribute to a system of reproductive injustice, and we are asked to envision new pathways for activism. She effectively calls on scholars, activists, legislators, and tribal leaders to do more to move Native women's experiences to the center of conversations about health, wellness, justice, and citizenship in America."
—Women and Social Movements

"This is a much-needed, long overdue effort to fill the gap in what we know about Native American women’s health and their access to reproductive justice more broadly."
—Jeanne Flavin, author of Our Bodies, Our Crimes: Policing Women's Reproduction in America

"Gurr’s book is a remarkable tour de force that presents, in elegantly lyrical style, a scathing analysis of the status of Native American women when the government simultaneously claims their bodies and their sexuality, while erecting immutable barriers of exclusion through legal and political subordination."
—Loretta Ross, co-founder of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Author / Editor Bio

BARBARA GURR is an assistant professor in residence in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Table Of Contents

Commonly Used Acronyms

Part I Introductions: The Stories We Tell and Why

1          Introducing Our Relatives and Introducing the Story

2          Stories from Indian Country  

3          Whose Rights? Whose Justice? Reproductive Oppression, Reproductive Justice, and the Reproductive Body

Part II         Tracing the Ruling Relations: Health Care, the Reproductive Body, and Native America

4          The Ruling Relations of Reproductive Health Care

5          Producing the Double Discourse: The History and Politics of Native-U.S. Relations and Imperialist Medicine

6          “To Uphold the Federal Government’s Obligations . . . and to Honor and Protect”: The Double Discourse of the Indian Health Service

Part III        Consequences of the Double Discourse: Native Women’s Experiences with the Indian Health Service

7          Resistance and Accommodation: Negotiating Prenatal Care and Childbirth

8          One in Three: Violence against Native Women

9          Genocidal Consequences: Contraception, Sterilization, and Abortion in the Fourth-World Context

Part IV        Reproductive Justice for Native Women

10        Community Knowledges, Community Capital, and Cultural Safety

11        Conclusions: Native Women in the Center

Appendix A: Methods and Methodologies

Appendix B: A Brief History of Federal Actions Impacting Native Healthcare




Lynnette Leidy Sievert
Taking the Heat
Deborah A. Harris, Patti Giuffre
Schools Under Surveillance
Torin Monahan, Rodolfo D Torres
Feminisms Redux
Robyn Warhol-Down, Diane Price Herndl