Fired Up about Reproductive Rights

Fired Up about Reproductive Rights

By Jane Kirby


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What is at stake in the fight for safe, legal, and accessible abortion services? And who benefits from our dark legacy of coercive sterilization, eugenics, and population control?

Reproductive rights are rights that everyone should be fired up about!

Decades after abortion was legalized and decriminalized in Canada, the US, and the UK, why are we still fighting for reproductive rights?

Shattering the myth that the battle for reproductive rights has already been won, Fired Up about Reproductive Rights shows us the many ways our reproductive lives remain subject to state control. From the fight for safe, legal, and accessible abortion services to the fight against coercive sterilization, eugenics, and population control, threats to our reproductive control remain alive and well in our communities. Engaging with the reproductive justice framework advanced by women of colour, the book presents the fight for reproductive rights as contingent with other social justice issues, and forces us to grapple with the weaknesses of the feminist and reproductive rights movement as it exists. Accessible and engaging, this book gives readers the tools to understand–and fight against–contemporary threats to our reproductive rights.

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Kirby’s thorough and accessible guide contextualizes today’s reproductive issues in historical efforts to secure reproductive rights and reproductive justice. Shedding light on the social justice movements that continue to shape this struggle, Fired Up about Reproductive Rights provides a clear and insightful introduction to a multifaceted and pressing issue.

– Cynthia Spring, co-founder of GUTS magazine

Kirby helps to move us beyond the privileged concept of being “pro-choice” by framing access to contraception and abortion as human rights issues that are deeply connected to poverty, racism, cis-sexism, and heterosexism.

– Jessica Shaw, professor of social work and abortion researcher

Kirby provides an engaging and inspiring account of the reproductive rights movement. Her book pays tribute to women of colour activism and acknowledges the challenges and contradictions of feminist organizing. It will be useful for educators and activists, helping to build feminist solidarity beyond the concept of individual rights and toward notions of justice and responsibility.

– Ruthann Lee, community organizer and professor

Jane Kirby does a great job critically engaging historical and contemporary concerns of the reproductive rights movement in this primer, and shows that the next generation is interested in pushing the conversation forward in an intersectional way.

– Karen Stote, author of An Act of Genocide: Colonialism and the Sterilization of Aboriginal Women in Canada

Fired Up about Reproductive Rights is well-written, powerful, and carefully integrates the reproductive justice framework Its easy accessibility and quick reading makes it stand out among books on reproductive rights.

– Loretta Ross, co-founder, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Kirby’s book explains in simple language the connection between reproduction and larger systems of oppression. It is an important contribution to literature on reproductive rights.

– Boma Brown, founder, Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour (SNIWWOC)

Kirby’s powerful writing will goad you into action and properly inform your fight. This book is a mobilizing force — a reminder that we’ve come a long way but work remains to be done.

– Kaleigh Trace, author of Hot, Wet and Shaking: How I Learned to Talk about Sex

Fired Up about Reproductive Rights brilliantly untangles complexity and presents a clear and accessible primer on reproductive politics. This book is a must-read for young people.

– Ardath Whynacht, youth advocate and professor of sociology

A fascinating exploration of the myths and facts surrounding reproductive justice and abortion. Something every activist needs to have in their back pocket.

– Colleen MacQuarrie, professor of psychology, University of Prince Edward Island, and academic activist


Chapter 1 Defining Reproductive Issues
Chapter 2 Fighting Illegal Abortion
Chapter 3 Barriers to Abortion Access
Chapter 4 Eugenics and the History of Coercive Sterilization
Chapter 5 Coercive Sterilization Practices Today
Chapter 6 Taking Action: Towards Reproductive Justice