Social justice is “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society”. It assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society, which enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. The relevant institutions can include education, health care, social security, labour rights, as well as a broader system of public services, progressive taxation and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, equality of opportunity, and no gross inequality of outcome. ( Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice)
The preamble to establish the International Labour Organization recalled that “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.”
Social justice is also a concept that is used to describe the movement towards a socially just world, and in this context, social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality, and can be defined as “the way in which human rights are manifested in the everyday lives of people at every level of society”.
Safe abortion services and social justice:
In countries where safe abortion is restricted or when public sector does not offer safe services, women who can afford it will seek services in the private sector. What happens to those who cannot? They are forced to either seek services in the informal sector, buy pills in the black market or then take on debt to borrow money to obtain the safe services.
All these are social injustice since the government or ‘state’ has obligations to all its citizens, irrespective of their socio economic status. Women should not be forced to suffer indignities and illness or even death simply because the service they need is not made available to them in the public sector.
As this blog tells us “The fight for access plays out not just in roadblocks between the doctor-patient relationship and regulations on the medical procedure of abortion. The fight for access is also very much about social class: https://mobilizingideas.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/from-civil-rights-to-womens-rights-to-reproductive-justice/
It is not only access to safe abortion services for all that should be the outcome of social justice but also the access itself results in social justice due to the economic benefits to women when they can control their fertility! As this study tells us “A majority of women reported that, over the course of their lives, access to contraception had enabled them to take better care of themselves or their families, support themselves financially, complete their education, or get or keep a job (see chart). Women provided similar answers when asked why they were seeking contraceptive services at that moment”