Progress for sexual and reproductive rights has often come from the fearless mobilisation of activists. In our Moving History series, we look at key moments in the history of reproductive justice and consider their significance.
Advancements for sexual and reproductive freedom took different paths depending on national context. During the 20th century, movements in Western Europe pushed for the legalization of abortion care while citizens in most countries of the Soviet block had state-provided care.
That said, contraceptive care in the Soviet block was often hard to obtain. But the restricted space for protest meant that calls for sexual and reproductive wellbeing were not issued from the streets. But following the break-up of the Soviet Union, this all changed.
From the 1960s on, movements for gender equality and reproductive freedom allowed for transformative change in European societies. In continuing the fight against reproductive coercion it is important to remember that we are standing on the shoulders of giants.
It's also important to consider how we might now improve these movements with the privilege of hindsight. Were these movements exclusionary to certain groups? Could they have made greater efforts to amplify the voices of marginalised groups?
As we work to strengthen 21st century movements for reproductive freedom, how do we ensure that we are inclusive and non-discriminatory. This should always be to the forefront of activism for freedom and dignity.