Reproductive injustice at the US Border

Ariella J. Messing, Joanne D. Rosen, Rachel E. Fabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The detention of immigrants inside US borders is not a new phenomenon. However, a dramatic shift has occurred in both the number and treatment of immigrants in detention. We examine recent changes in immigration policies that have systematized the mistreatment of children and pregnant immigrants, including a ban on abortion for unaccompanied minors in immigration detention, the neglect and mistreatment of pregnant immigrants in detention, and the separation and prolonged detention of parents and children in unsafe facilities. We employ the reproductive justice framework to demonstrate how these policies violate all 3 primary values of reproductive justice: The right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to parent children in safe and secure environments.We argue that, when analyzed through the lens of reproductive justice, these policies can be seen as manifestations of a single targeted strategy to control the reproductive autonomy of migrants as a tool of immigration enforcement.We conclude with a call to action to the public health community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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