Toward Reproductive Justice and Reproductive Self-Determination was the third panel in LEAF’s Personhood Speaker Series, and took place on January 25, 2021.

About the Speaker Series

The Personhood Speaker Series created a space to discuss what makes a ‘person’ and whose voices need centering in conversations about gender equality in 2020 and beyond.

About the Panel

Our third panel focused on reproductive justice and its role in affirming personhood. A term coined by the Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice, reproductive justice represents a broad vision of safety, health, and dignity. It demands that every individual be able to make their own choices about their reproductive life and that safe, affordable reproductive health services are accessible to all. It also requires that all people live in social, economic, and political conditions that allow them to raise families with dignity in safe and healthy environments.

The panel featured Alisa Lombard, lawyer and lead counsel on a proposed class action pertaining to the forced sterilization of Indigenous women in Saskatchewan; Akinisie Qumaluk, a midwife from Puvirnituq in Nunavik, Quebec; and Hadiya Roderique, speaker, writer, consultant, and EDI researcher. Joanna Erdman, an Associate Professor and the MacBain Chair in Health Law and Policy at the Schulich School of Law, moderated the discussion.

This panel discussion explored the origins, meaning, and importance of reproductive justice. Our speakers discussed how reproductive justice is and is not present in their lives and their work, as well as in current movements for gender equality. They discussed how we can work to ensure reproductive care is gender-affirming as well as culturally affirming. They unpacked how we can take steps to decolonize the reproductive justice movement, and work towards reproductive self-determination.

You can watch the recording of the panel discussion below.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This program has been accredited by the Law Society of Ontario and contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of EDI Professionalism content. For Nova Scotia lawyers, consider including this course as a CPD learning activity in your mandatory annual Continuing Professional Development Plan as required by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

Support our Work

LEAF’s work is only possible with the generous support of our donors and funding partners. LEAF relies on donations to fund our work, including, law reform, research projects, and legal interventions. The Speaker Series was a ticketed event which attendees paid between $15-$100 to join. We are now offering the videos available for viewing on our website, but we ask that you please consider making a donation and help us continue to work towards justice and equality for all people – thank you!  


The funds raised through LEAF’s Personhood Speaker Series support our work to advance substantive equality rights in Canada through litigation, law reform and education.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this event possible: CUPE National, UFCW Canada, Delaney Capital Management, BMO, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Koskie Minsky LLP, Ontario Nurses’ Association, Goldblatt Partners LLP, The Law Society of Ontario, Stockwoods LLP, Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP, Kastner Lam, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Lerners LLP, AMAPCEO, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and Madame Premier.