Making sense of the threat to reproductive justice

Feminist Hands Raised for Reproductive JusticeFor years, the religious right has been working with conservative political leaders to try to roll back women’s reproductive rights. Now, with the Republican Party poised to take control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, the long struggle for reproductive justice is about to face its biggest test in decades.

If you’re looking for resources to help your students explore the larger dynamics at work in this political battle, we recommend our film The Purity Myth, featuring feminist columnist and bestselling author Jessica Valenti.

In the film, Valenti traces the conservative movement’s decades-long effort to defund Planned Parenthood, criminalize abortion, and replace sex education with abstinence-only education. And she makes a compelling case that these ideological attacks on women’s reproductive health have been designed, at their core, to undercut women’s autonomy, roll back women’s rights, and restore the traditional masculine order.

Ideal for courses in women’s studies, women’s health issues, gender studies, and contemporary politics.


Jessica Valenti makes a thoughtful and compelling case that virginity ideology has a racist and classist agenda. Moreover it is being used by politicians and forces in our society who are actively working to rescind women’s reproductive rights and limit women’s political agency. Valenti also shows clearly how abstinence-only education serves this agenda, and as a purely ideological tool perpetrates a fraud against the American taxpayer and only hurts generations of our teens and young people. Valenti is among the most clear-sighted of young feminist thinkers in the USA.

Amada Sandoval | Director of Princeton University Women’s Center

Stills from The Purity Myth documentary