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These 7 images beautifully explain why reproductive justice affects all of us.

Why talking about abortion access also means talking about parenting, unique families, and domestic violence.

These 7 images beautifully explain why reproductive justice affects all of us.

In 2011, an artist and activist named Megan Smith launched the Repeal Hyde Art Project.

"I had been working in abortion access and I wanted to try and find a way to create more dialogue around unaffordable and inaccessible abortion care,” Megan told Upworthy. "In addition to that, as an artist, I was searching for related feminist images but couldn't find any that mirrored the resistance and resilience of people who overcome barriers to care everyday."

Megan's images appear all over the Internet, for free. They're used here with her permission.


The Hyde Amendment is a little-known law that bans the government from using federal funds to cover abortion. Passed in 1976, it's a provision on the annual appropriations bill, not a permanent law. This means that every year, there’s an opportunity to not include the Hyde Amendment. But every year, it gets passed again. Combining her art with some activism seemed to make sense.

The Hyde Amendment has the biggest effect on low-income families, Megan explained, many of whom use Medicaid health insurance.

If someone on Medicaid becomes pregnant and decides to terminate the pregnancy, for example, they won’t have insurance coverage for the procedure because of the Hyde Amendment.

"For each barrier that politicians put in place, there are hundreds of people fighting past them,” Megan said. "I wanted to have that conversation and to honor those experiences.”

Megan's art isn't just about abortion access though. And there's a reason for that.

Her art also tackles issues like mental illness, sexuality, and immigration and how they affect our reproductive lives.

"We can't talk about abortion access without talking about poverty, or violence, or food security, or who is deemed by society ‘fit’ and ‘unfit’ parents. When someone makes a decision to have an abortion, there are so many other factors in their lives, factors that are influenced by structural forces, that come into play.”

Intersectional oppression is the idea that forms of oppression are linked and influence each other. This is central to reproductive justice, and to the Repeal Hyde Art Project. In many cases, the struggle to access abortion and the struggle to parent on one’s own terms go hand-in-hand.

"It's because of feminists of color like Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Patricia Hill Collins, among many others, that we are talking about how issues are related instead of siloing ourselves. We owe them a great deal,” Megan said.

Megan's art is meant to remind us that reproductive justice affects all of us. It includes environmental justice.

It includes paid family leave.

It includes respecting the parenting decisions of other parents, no matter their gender, situation, abilities, or age.


Reproductive justice is also about feeling safe from racial violence.

Megan’s art is shareable for a reason.

She posts it for free on Facebook to help create new conversations about reproductive justice, and she even encourages people to make their own art for the Repeal Hyde Art Project.

To help spread the word about the project, she also created a bird template, symbolizing self-determination and resilience, so that the message to Repeal Hyde can be publicly visible all over the world.

Since its creation, Megan's project has grown and spread, creating more awareness about the Hyde Amendment’s effects on low-income communities.

"I've continued to experiment with different ways to spur conversation around abortion access and interconnected issues using art as a tool,” Megan said.

And while the Project will continue to evolve, Megan said that one thing remains at the heart of every image that she makes:

"I create each image and message to mirror a person back to themselves, to let them know that they are beautiful, worthy, and seen.”

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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