Birthing Liberation: How Reproductive Justice Can Set Us Free (Hardcover)
Birthing Liberation presents reproductive justice as the pathway to equity and the birthplace of liberation.
Sabia C. Wade, renowned radical doula and educator, speaks to the intersections of systemic issues—such as access to health care, house transportation, and nutrition—and personal trauma work that, if healed, have the power to lead us to collective liberation in all facets of life.
Collective liberation rests on the idea that in order for us all to have equity in this world—from the safety of childbirth, to the ability to bring a baby home to a safe community, to having access to resources, safety, and opportunities over the long term—we must all become liberated individuals.
Birthing Liberation creates a path to social and systemic change, starting within the birthing world and expanding far beyond.
About the Author
Sabia Wade (she/they) is a radical full-spectrum doula, reproductive justice advocate, equity consultant, and somatic educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2017 she founded the nonprofit For the Village in San Diego, and in 2018 she founded Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings (BADT). In 2021 she launched The Black Doula Podcast, and Essence magazine listed her as one of “9 Black doulas and midwives to follow now.” Her work has been featured in Insider, the Advocate, Business Equality Magazine, Ebony, Motherly, Well + Good, and Healthline, among other outlets. She has appeared on several podcasts including Evidence Based Birth, Birthful, Happy as a Mother, and Birth Kweens.
“The wisdom and love on these pages teach folks how to embrace the necessary discomfort to understand that medical racism hurts us all, and why collective liberation is the only North Star worth aspiring to.” —Janna Meyrowitz Turner, president of Synastry Capital and cofounder of VCs for Repro
“The words that Wade so thoughtfully and diligently crafted in this book are for anyone and everyone who has ever been born. We know that when people are able to bring life into the world—honored in the sacred and the magic—their lineages experience tectonic shifts in freedom. What one gathers from reading these words is a reminder of our personal responsibility to the collective, that our work cannot start in the community until we begin the work on ourselves and remember all that has been taken or lost at the hands of capitalism. May all who read this beautiful offering remember.” —Davinah Simmons, MS, full-spectrum doula, childbirth and lactation educator, and founder of Rooted Birth Doula Services
"Birthing Liberation offers practical lessons on moving toward our collective liberation, carefully placing the reader in historical context that too many birth, health, and community care practitioners don't yet know, because of how these histories have been erased or missing from learning environments. Ever ambitious, Wade diligently attaches these lessons and context onto prompts to integrate word-based learning with somatic healing, awareness, and restorative and transformative justice practices. She also models language affirmation toward people of all genders, teaching and explaining her rationale and methods, in addition to using and proposing a way for US-centric practitioners to negotiate language relating to ethnic, racial, and cultural identities—which is so valuable for pushing continued dialogue in the middle of great questionings and shifts in how we of many different identities can decenter white supremacy." —Angelique Geehan, founder, Interchange
"In her book, Wade shows us exactly why we need to be paying close attention to the experiences of Black and Brown people and their sexual and reproductive health. Reproductive justice goes beyond health care delivery and legal perspectives—it gives us a deeper understanding of how lived experiences and structural racism have impacted the ability of people to actualize their bodily autonomy. This book is a must-read." —Meera Shah, author of You're the Only One I've Told: The Stories Behind Abortion and chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic
"This deeply empathetic overview of medical racism will outrage and has the power to inspire change" —Publishers Weekly
"Sabia Wade’s Birthing Liberation is not only thoughtful and well researched, but it’s also a rallying cry, a collective calling-in that challenges us to create a world where every birthing person is cared for deeply, not only in the places where new life springs forth but also in every aspect of our culture. This book is simultaneously required reading for all birthing professionals, from doulas to doctors, and a guide for everyone devoted to our collective liberation—because we only get free together.” —Thérèse Cator, leadership coach, healer, and founder of Embodied Black Girl
"Words cannot express my gratitude for the labor of love that Sabia Wade has created in Birthing Liberation. Sabia does not shy away from the hard facts. But they also share ways to move from beliefs to action. This book should be required reading for every non-BIPOC birth worker and health care worker who is serious about putting an end to preventable perinatal death." —Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, Founder of Evidence Based Birth
"Good reading for activists fighting for reproductive rights." — Kirkus Reviews
“Birthing Liberation is an essential soul-searching journey that everyone involved in pregnancy and birth work should embark on. Wade’s writing is loving, rigorous, and reflective, and invites readers to look at our own responsibilities and ability to change lives within systems of reproductive injustice. This is a must-read book for justice advocates everywhere.” —Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and executive director of We Testify and coauthor of Countering Abortionsplaining
"[Wade's] call for liberation illuminates harsh realities and a path forward." — Booklist