Abstract – Farm labor, reproductive justice: Migrant women farmworkers in the US

Charlene Galarneau

Health and Human Rights 15/1

Published June 2013


Little is known about the reproductive health of women migrant farmworkers in the US. The health and rights of these workers are advanced by fundamental human rights principles that are sometimes conceptually and operationally siloed into three approaches: reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice. I focus on the latter framework, as it lends critical attention to the structural oppression central to poor reproductive health, as well as to the agency of communities organizing and leading efforts to improve their health. I review what is known about these women’s reproductive health; identify three realms of reproduction oppression affecting their reproductive health: labor/occupational conditions, health care, and social relations involving race, immigration and fertility; and then highlight some current efforts at women farmworker-directed change. Finally, I make several analytical observations that suggest the importance of the reproductive justice framework to broader discussions of migrant worker justice and its role in realizing their right to health.