The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling has again put reproductive justice at the center of the national conversation, but as is too often the case, that conversation has largely failed to acknowledge the intersectional impact for certain groups which are now experiencing assaults on bodily autonomy on multiple levels, such as LGBTQ Muslims. In the more than 20 years since 9/11, state-sanctioned surveillance of Muslim communities has occurred across the country. Now, with abortion bans being imposed in multiple states, there are looming threats of use of surveillance to criminalize people capable of pregnancy seeking information about abortion services.
Fortunately, there are organizations like Queer Crescent, an RTF grantee that centers its work on community, culture, safety, and healing arts for LGBTQ Muslims. Both RTF and RFDC are providing Queer Crescent with rapid response funds to support the development of a network of Muslim healers. Funds will be used to help the cohort of Muslim healers receive training, skills, and support in providing gender-affirming care and connect that to access to broader struggles for bodily autonomy, and gender justice. Queer Crescent has a goal of scaling up to 25 Muslim healers and connecting them so they are less isolated, and to promote expansive reproductive justice conversations in Muslim communities that connect abortion care and reproductive care to gender-affirming care
“Queer Crescent sees reproductive justice as bodily autonomy and resisting the intersecting struggles our communities face,” says Shenaaz Janmohamed, the organization’s executive director. “We affirm that bodily autonomy is about living with dignity and safety, from housing to jobs, clean water, being in the right relationship to the environment, and of course reproductive healthcare – including abortion access, gender-affirming care, parenting support, childcare and more.”
Just last month, Queer Crescent launched the Muslim Fund for Bodily Autonomy, a mutual aid program designed to provide resource connection, cash assistance, and community to Muslims most impacted by abortion restrictions and bans. In six weeks, Queer Crescent has received more than 110 applicants, primarily residing in the U.S. Southern States and the Midwest, facing hardships in accessing mental healthcare, reproductive healthcare, and gender-affirming healthcare.