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Language shapes narratives and our understanding of the world. Language is the story of you, me, and us. Due to systemic oppressions and violence around the world, language has also been misused as a way to criminalize, dehumanize, oppress, and enact further violence upon marginalized communities. At inroads, we recognize the importance of grounding our work and efforts through a language justice framework that goes beyond language inclusion, as we understand that it is critical in how we bust abortion stigma and move towards our collective liberation. When we refer to language justice, we are referring to the work that we do to represent the diversity and richness of our global community that is constantly evolving – just as humans do – to move away from monolithic frameworks of language, and to ensure language access and prioritize care and safety within it.
The inroads team is continually working to improve and create stigma-busting content, spaces, and resources that reflect the diverse experiences of people facing abortion stigma and the diversity of the inroads community.
Diverse people have abortions. This includes cis women, trans men, non-binary, gender-diverse people, and more —all with intersecting and diverse identities, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability status, and more. In exploitative global systems rooted in the control of bodies, people’s autonomies over their bodies, especially around abortion, remains deeply stigmatized. At inroads, we acknowledge that stigma intersects with and stems from multiple systems of oppression.
We believe that we do not need to shy away from considering abortion a women’s issue, as well as a human rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and disability rights issue; these movements and communities are not mutually exclusive and should not be considered so. On the contrary, they are interconnected and should be mutually supportive.
Language and movements are constantly evolving, so while older or external content created by inroads members might not always reflect the diversity of people who have abortions, we encourage all members to aim to create content that represents the diverse experiences and identities of abortion seekers, in order to bust stigma of all kinds.
Bodily autonomy is deeply rooted in disability rights and reproductive justice work. Our goal is to ensure that we use anti-ableist practices in all of our work and strive to always create accessible spaces and content for our community.
Currently, we aim to use neutral inclusive language for most of our institutional communications when communicating about abortion that does not necessarily need to specify the gender.Example:
For content that aims to name the gender of people that have abortions to highlight gender discrimination and inequality, we aim to use gender-inclusive language that names trans men, non-binary, and gender-diverse people in an inclusive and expansive manner.Example:
Based on direct feedback from the disability rights community, we generally aim to use People First language. In the same line, we also aim to listen to, honor, and respect the identities and self-identification of members of our community who might prefer to use identity-first language when referring to themselves.
We aim to actively eradicate disability-related pejorative metaphors, words, and expressions that are common in our language. We rely on the following resources created by activists from the disability rights movement:
We are actively striving to make our core spaces, materials, and content for members as accessible as possible within our current team capacity. We understand that no single accommodation will work for all people with disabilities. As such, we always aim to listen to and reflect on our community's needs for increased access. We welcome feedback and input and encourage all members to reach out to us for accessibility requests. If you would like to make an accessibility request, please reach out to email@example.com
Lack of information equates to a barrier. While English is currently the primary language used at inroads, we typically aim to translate our core content into Spanish & French. Where we are not able to translate our content to the other languages that our community uses, we strive to use formats and platforms compatible with automated translation tools when possible.
We acknowledge that different languages and regions use different inclusive formats and styles and have different inclusivity and adaptational needs when talking about abortions and who can have them. In our current capacity, the translation of much of our content relies on automated software that is not always able to represent the diversity or inclusivity of languages that our community uses. For content where we are able to have manually revised translations and member events where we host live interpretations, we seek to always consider diverse and inclusive language.
For Spanish, our native Spanish-speaking team crafted the following Spanish inclusive language guidelines.
Gender-Inclusive Language Resources by the Society for Gender Professionals
Language Inclusive Guide by Oxfam