Housing Injustice as a Barrier to Reproductive Justice

By Norah Cunningham on November 22, 2021

Click here for PDF version.

To me it is pretty clear that whatever serves as an obstacle to the whole of a woman’s freedom and self-determination, like economic injustice, racial and sex discrimination, affects her reproductive freedom. Injustice in housing is a reproductive justice issue . . . . Not only should homelessness be regarded as a reproductive justice issue because of its direct impact on women’s health, but because of its impact on the overall physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women.[1]



“We are mothers, we are workers, we are human beings, and we deserve housing. Our children deserve housing. Housing is a human right.” – Moms 4 Housing[2]

On November 18, 2019, a collective of formerly unhoused[3] mothers, who would become known as Moms 4 Housing, entered a vacant, unlocked home in Oakland, California, and planted the seeds of their own housing justice movement.[4] The house had been purchased by a home-flipping company and left vacant for two years prior to the occupation.[5] These families were tired of fighting for survival while speculators bought up the houses in their neighborhood and left them empty amid a growing homelessness crisis.[6] This group of Black mothers decided to practice civil disobedience in pursuit of safety for their families and justice for their community: “We want speculators out of our community . . . . They’re coming in, they’re profiting off harm that’s done in our community and we want them out.”[7] Oakland has a deep-rooted history of community-built power and community organizing, and these mothers intended to honor that history: “This is the home of the Black Panthers . . . . we’re not going nowhere. I love this city. We deserve to be here.”[8]

The mothers cleaned the house, installed a water heater, set up bedrooms for their families, decorated the living room with plants and furniture, and paid the water and electric bills.[9] As the collective grew over the following months, so did their support—volunteer security guards spent multiple nights protecting the home while the families slept,[10]  local community members brought the families supplies, and national political figures spoke about their cause.[11] Despite this community support, a judge ruled they were illegally squatting and ordered them evicted.[12] The community of supporters learned about the eviction the night prior to the police’s arrival, and that evening several hundred community members arrived with Moms 4 Housing banners and created a human blockade in front of the house to protect the families.[13] As one Moms 4 Housing activist described: “People were chanting, holding hands, locking arms . . . . They told us they loved us and they appreciated us. This gives us the strength to keep going. We know what we’re doing is important, and the community knows that, and they showed up for us.”[14]

But the families were forcibly evicted early the next morning by a heavily armed contingent of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office equipped with riot gear and armored vehicles.[15] Their belongings were thrown into the street, and two of the mothers and two supporters were arrested.[16]

During the eviction proceedings, Moms 4 Housing’s attorney argued to the judge that housing is a human right and forcibly removing these families would violate their constitutional rights—but she was unsurprised by the judge’s ruling against Moms 4 Housing and the series of events that followed: “We understand that the court’s hands are tied because in this country, property rights are valued over human rights.”[17] But Moms 4 Housing remained hopeful on the day of the judge’s ruling: “Today is not a defeat . . . . This is the beginning of a movement.”[18]

Moms 4 Housing does not identify itself as a reproductive justice movement, but this collective of mothers and their fight to raise their children with dignity fits squarely within the reproductive justice framework. This Article argues that housing justice and reproductive justice are inextricably linked, and achieving justice in both realms requires a combination of community organizing and movement lawyering. Part I defines the reproductive justice movement and ties housing justice into its holistic framework. Part II analyzes the reproductive justice movement’s three-part framework through a housing lens to show how homelessness interferes with each aspect of reproductive justice. This Part uses San Francisco as an example to briefly discuss the flaws in existing emergency services available for unhoused pregnant people[19] and families. Finally, Part III argues that community organizing and movement lawyering can be effective ways of supporting housing and reproductive justice in the face of lacking public resources, using Moms 4 Housing as a successful example.

I. The Reproductive Justice Movement and Its Ties to Housing Justice


Feminists of color began the reproductive justice movement in 1994 as a way to challenge reproductive oppression “through an intersectional lens that considers the simultaneous operations of a person’s statuses such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability; community-based identification of problems and leadership in taking action to solve them; and recognition that individuals are embedded in communities.”[20] This multidimensional movement “analyzes how the ability of any woman to determine her own reproductive destiny is linked directly to the conditions in her community” and “addresses the social reality of inequality, specifically, the inequality of opportunities that we have to control our reproductive destiny.”[21]

The reproductive justice movement recognizes reproductive justice as more than just the right to have an abortion—an issue dominated by the narrative of white affluent women that fails to recognize the structural barriers to having children that many women of color and low-income women face.[22] Rather, the reproductive justice movement holistically encompasses: (1) the right to have children, (2) the right to not have children, and (3) the right to raise children with dignity.[23]

The right to have children includes the ability to avoid forced sterilizations; access medical care for conditions that may compromise the ability to conceive, maintain a pregnancy, or survive childbirth; eliminate the criminalization of reproduction; escape cultural shunning of teen mothers and low-income mothers who use public benefits; and access reproductive technology.[24] The right to not have children includes the ability to not only access abortion, but also to achieve contraceptive control, sexual autonomy, and freedom from coercive relationships.[25] The right to raise children with dignity includes the ability to give birth without being shackled while incarcerated; provide children with shelter, food, clothes, clean water, and an education; maintain parental rights after state involvement; access nonmedical birthing options; and raise a family outside of the traditional nuclear family unit.[26]

Under the reproductive justice framework, each right is equally important,[27] and the focus should remain in the margins on the most vulnerable communities. The reproductive justice movement “simultaneously demands a negative right of freedom from undue government interference and a positive right to government action in creating conditions of social justice and human flourishing for all.”[28]

Achieving housing justice is necessary to achieving reproductive justice. How can an unhoused person maintain the right to have children when they[29] cannot access emergency shelter until the late stages of pregnancy,[30] receive the nutrition needed for conception or pregnancy, escape the instability of shelters street living, or access comprehensive medical care before, during, and after pregnancy? How can they maintain the right to not have children when they cannot access contraceptives, escape coercive sexual relationships and exchanges, or control the location and manner of sex? How can they maintain the right to raise children with dignity when they cannot provide shelter for their children, maintain parental rights, or evade family separation?

The reproductive justice framework’s focus on intersectionality also coincides with the disparities among those facing housing injustices. The intersection of race, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, and other statuses plays a crucial role in creating the context for experiencing homelessness. For example, people experiencing homelessness are disproportionately Black[31] and disproportionately members of the LGBTQ+ community.[32] Further, intimate partner violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness among women[33] and mothers, and domestic violence survivors are disproportionately Black, Native American, and multi-racial.[34] While there is little accurate data available on the number of unhoused undocumented people, a large number of undocumented people live in informal housing situations because documentation is required to qualify for a variety of subsidized and affordable housing options.[35]

Homelessness and housing instability serve as “obstacle[s] to the whole of a woman’s freedom and self-determination.”[36] The reproductive justice movement’s focus on eliminating the obstacles standing between vulnerable communities and true reproductive justice places housing justice squarely in its purview.

The next Part takes a closer look at each of the three reproductive justice movement rights in the context of experiencing homelessness.

II. Barriers for Unhoused People in Obtaining Reproductive Justice


People experiencing homelessness face unique barriers in accessing each part of the reproductive justice movement framework: (1) the right to have children, (2) the right to not have children, and (3) the right to raise children with dignity.[37] In the face of the insurmountable barriers to achieving these three rights while experiencing homelessness, the last section of this Part  describes how the lack of emergency services available, specifically for pregnant unhoused people, reveals a troubling system of aid.

A. Barriers to the Right to Have Children


The Supreme Court has long recognized the constitutional right to have children.[38] Barriers to achieving this right specific to people experiencing homelessness include high rates of pregnancy complications, including preterm births and hospitalization, and the strong desire to not raise a child while unhoused.[39]

People experiencing homelessness while pregnant have “significantly higher rates of health complications, such as hypertension, anemia, hemorrhage[,] and early labor,”[40] according to a study published in the January 2019 issue of Health Affairs.[41] While recognizing that rates of mental illness and substance use disorders are higher among unhoused pregnant people, which also contributes to pregnancy complications, the study concluded that “behavioral health disorders and housing instability are independent factors.”[42] The study’s finding emphasizes that pregnancy complications among people experiencing homelessness are not just a result of poverty-related health issues or substance use disorders, but rather, these numbers reflect social factors specific to experiencing homelessness.[43] While the study could not conclusively trace the social factors that are specific to homelessness and distinct from poverty, it found housing pregnant people reduced emergency department visits and hospitalizations,[44] and that unhoused pregnant people using emergency shelters had fewer ambulatory care visits and more months without billable care.[45]

Pregnancy complications among people experiencing homelessness also include higher rates of preterm births and hospitalization.[46] A recent study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco California Preterm Birth Initiative found that experiencing housing instability increases the odds of having a preterm birth by 20%, a longer hospital stay after birth by 60%, and hospital readmission within three months after birth by 170%.[47] The study stressed the need for preventative policy measures by comparing the cost of housing with the cost of hospitalization: one month of housing costs $1,375, yet one day of inpatient care costs $2,424.[48] Additionally, the average cost of hospitalization for premature or low-weight babies skyrockets to $55,393 per infant.[49] One registered nurse with the San Francisco Department of Public Health attributes this 20% higher rate of preterm births in part to the stress related to finding shelter: “That kind of a chronic stress of not knowing where you’re going to have your baby and not knowing where you can take your baby is an indicator for a negative outcome for a woman’s labor and delivery.”[50]

In addition to health complications creating barriers for people experiencing homelessness to have children, the condition of experiencing homelessness also creates a common, strong desire to avoid pregnancy.[51] One study published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved analyzed pregnancy intention among unhoused women and found that, “[a]lthough most women desired future children or were ambivalent about future pregnancies, none wanted to be pregnant or to have children while they were homeless.”[52] One woman in the study described the desire to be sheltered before having a child:

I’ve got to wait [to get pregnant] ‘til I get settled, more settled, where I can have a stable income and stable housing. ‘Cause I mean, having a baby at a shelter right now is really, that’s tough . . . [.] I can’t imagine having a baby in a shelter right now.[53]

Another participant described the desire to avoid putting a child through the trauma of living without a home:

It’s [pregnancy] not something that I want and I’m taking measures to prevent it because I am homeless and wouldn’t want to bring a child into this situation . . . [.] Because I think it’s traumatic for a child to experience homelessness . . . [.] ‘Cause it’s unstable and it’s a stressful situation and it’s just not healthy, I don’t think, for a child moving place to place. I believe children have a way of detecting tension and stress and I think it can affect them developmentally, mentally, it can affect their mental development . . . [.] [54]

B. Barriers to the Right to Not Have Children


The Supreme Court has also long recognized the constitutional right to not have children.[55] Barriers to achieving this right specific to people experiencing homelessness include shelter-related obstacles, the power dynamics of sexual relationships, and inconsistent contraception use. Shelter-related obstacles to not having children include having no reliable place to store contraceptives.[56] Most shelters lock their doors during the day, forcing people to take all their personal belongings out of the shelter.[57] Shelters that allow personal belongings to be stored during the day often receive reports of stolen belongings, including contraceptive materials.[58] A participant in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved study described the contraceptive issues related to not having a secure space to store contraceptive methods:

[. . . . B]ecause if I had a place to stay, then usually like the condoms would be in a place where they’re easy to get to, like on the stand next to the bed or something like that. But when you’re homeless and sometimes it’s just so spontaneous sex, you might just say, “Let’s check into this hotel,” right? And then if I just don’t happen to have a condom in my purse, then I might just say, “Hey, you know what, I’ll just risk it this time.”[59]

Another shelter-related obstacle the study examined is the lack of hygiene in the shelters and the absence of privacy:

[W]omen frequently commented on the lack of feminine hygiene products resulting in women using toilet paper during their menstrual periods and absence of doors in bathrooms. This influenced women’s use of contraception; some women reported they declined certain methods because of the risk of increased or unpredictable bleeding in a context of being unable to afford feminine hygiene products, dirty bathrooms, and lack of privacy.[60]

Changes in the power dynamics of sexual relationships during periods of homelessness also significantly impact the right to not have children—changes “including with whom they have sex, where and how often they have sex, and why they have sex.”[61] In addition to relying on partners to provide the location for sex, because it’s prohibited in shelters, the study found that the tendency to use sex as a resource to secure housing, food, or other benefits was an important effect of homelessness.[62] The study also found that reproductive coercion limited unhoused women’s ability to use contraception, explaining that multiple study participants had experienced sexual partners intentionally sabotaging the participants’ attempt to use contraception.[63]

Shelter-related obstacles and changing sexual dynamics, in addition to other barriers to contraceptive use and reproductive health care, lead those experiencing homelessness to use contraception inconsistently.[64] The study found that rather than relying on inconsistent contraception, many women often tried to use abstinence to avoid pregnancy—though most women who reported using abstinence also indicated that they had recent unprotected sexual intercourse with a man:

I’m using the patch and when I run out of patches or I don’t have patches, I’m using a sponge and I’m being, majority abstinence, just not even trying to engage or indulge in sex right now, because it’s not going hand in hand with my situation . . . . [65]

Another study conducted by the National Health Care for the Homeless Practice-Based Network found that, even when unhoused people had access to contraception, “they usually were only provided methods with high user-based failure rates.”[66]

An additional barrier to the right to not have children is access to free or affordable abortion services—though this barrier is likely dependent on where the person lives and what the service accessibility is in that area.[67] For example, one study conducted in Berkeley, California, found that unhoused pregnant youth were personally satisfied with the abortion services in Berkeley, a progressive area with generally accessible reproductive services.[68] But the participants still spoke of other women they knew and the obstacles to abortion they faced: “Many of our participants described other women using alternative, and potentially life-threatening, methods to induce abortions when services were not available, such herbal therapies, increasing drug use, or physical violence directed at the abdomen.”[69] Where abortion services are not as accessible, people experiencing homelessness are forced to resort to alternative, dangerous, and unreliable methods to terminate their pregnancies.

C. Barriers to the Right to Raise Children with Dignity


The Supreme Court has also more recently recognized the constitutional right to raise children with dignity.[70] Barriers to achieving this right specific to people experiencing homelessness include child separations, and the general inability to provide children with shelter and survival necessities.[71]

The Administration for Children and Families, a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, published a comprehensive report in 2018 analyzing child separation among families experiencing homelessness.[72] The report found that “[f]amilies who use emergency shelters are more likely than poor, housed families to experience separations between children and their custodial parents.”[73] Almost 40% of all families staying in an emergency shelter had a child separated from them before or during their stay, and about 30% of all children staying in emergency shelters had been separated from their families at some point—typically for a period of eighteen months.[74] Family separations usually continued for three years after a shelter stay, with phases of separation and reunification throughout.[75] The report ultimately concluded that the condition of being unhoused caused this high rate of separations:

There appears to be a relationship between housing instability and child separations. Children who were separated as of [three] years after the stay in shelter were more likely to be from families who had a prior history of homelessness before entering shelter. They were also more likely to be from families who experienced additional bouts of homelessness after the initial shelter stay. Families reported that not having a place to live, or a large enough place to live, were contributing factors to children not living with the family.[76]

The fear of involuntary separation can be so impactful that, even where new mothers are aware of free, accessible, and necessary medical services, many do not access the services because they fear losing their newborn to child protection agencies.[77]

If unhoused parents are able to remain with their children, they still encounter barriers to raising their children with dignity. One mother who experienced homelessness after fleeing domestic violence while raising an infant described the lack of autonomy she had over raising her child while staying in a domestic violence shelter:

Homelessness and the services and programs we were forced to rely upon affected the quality of care I was able to provide for my child. There is nothing normal about raising a child in this environment. I did my best, but it wasn’t easy. Today, I try not to think about the precious time we lost when we were homeless.

. . . .

We no longer had the physical space for my daughter to even crawl and develop in other ways. We were limited to a confined, small, cold room. I remember sneaking a heating pad into our bed because the heating system was broken. Electrical or other heating devices were against house rules even though it was in the dead of winter.

. . . .

. . . . As a parent, you are supposed to be able to choose who cares for your child, but in shelters, this becomes the choice of the program staff. Many of us were afraid to speak out because we did not want to lose the only place we had to call home.[78]

Other families in non-domestic violence shelters experience similar cramped spaces, strict house rules, and lessened control over parenting their children.[79]

As Part II describes, the state of poverty specific to homelessness creates distinctive barriers to achieving reproductive freedom. The barriers to having children, not having children, and raising children with dignity for people experiencing homelessness are multidimensional—they encompass health concerns unique to being unhoused, social factors unique to being unhoused, and a lack of autonomy and control unique to being unhoused. The next Part briefly demonstrates the lack of emergency services existing for unhoused people seeking reproductive justice.

D. Inadequate Emergency Services for Pregnant People Experiencing Homelessness

“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to talk to. I just feel like I’m really alone, and I don’t know—there’s not that many resources out here for women.”[80] – Unhoused Pregnant Person in the Bay Area.

In the face of insurmountable barriers to having children, to not having children, and to raising children with dignity, emergency services for people experiencing homelessness while pregnant in San Francisco[81] reveal troubling gaps. For example, San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing generally does not qualify pregnant people for a family shelter until they reach their third trimester unless they present certification that they are medically at risk.[82] But even if a pregnant unhoused person qualifies for shelter, the average wait to move into the shelter is 121 days—after the baby is born.[83] The city’s suggested alternatives for those who do not qualify, or those who qualify but have to wait until giving birth to move in, are to line up daily for a spot in a single adult shelter or remain on the street.[84]

According to a registered nurse with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, “pregnant women will spend most of their pregnancy on the streets before they’re prioritized for a family shelter,” which she described as “a really serious issue.”[85]

Martha Ryan, Founder and Director of the Homeless Prenatal Program, described the lack of services in San Francisco as being unacceptable, especially given San Francisco’s wealth: “To have families that are living on the street, living in cars, . . . . riding on twenty-four-hour buses so that they could get through the night—that shouldn’t be happening in a city that is as wealthy as San Francisco is.”[86]

III.      The Role of Community Organizing and Movement Lawyering


If we don’t go upstream now, and work with pregnant moms, and help moms deliver healthy babies, and help those babies become stable, and give them the resources that they need so that they can move forward in life, then I guarantee you, the next generation of chronically homeless is in the pipeline right now.[87]

Moms 4 Housing may have been evicted from their home in Oakland, but that is not where their fight ended. They are set to move back into the three-bedroom Oakland home after striking a deal with the home-flipping company owner.[88] The company agreed to give Oakland’s Community Land Trust the opportunity to purchase the property for market price.[89] This will essentially move the home from private to public ownership, making it permanently affordable housing.[90] But the victory does not end with this one home—the company agreed to offer community land trusts, the city, or other affordable housing organizations the opportunity to purchase all fifty of their properties in Oakland.[91]

This deal was brokered by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff and California Governor Gavin Newsom.[92] Mayor Schaff carefully walked a fine line in her comments regarding the deal, emphasizing that she does not “condone unlawful acts,” but “can respect them” and “passionately advance the cause that inspired them”: “It is not my intention to encourage civil disobedience . . . . [but] the mothers made a tremendous sacrifice for their cause. They spent the night in jail. They went through a horrific trauma with the eviction, which I believe was unnecessary on the part of the sheriff.”[93] Following the eviction and arrests, Mayor Schaff reached out to the company’s executive and began negotiations.[94] Ultimately, Mayor Schaff attributed the deal to community collaboration: “This collaboration represents what can be accomplished when we work together towards ending the humanitarian crisis of homelessness.”[95]

Moms 4 Housing occupying the three-bedroom empty home in Oakland was illegal, but according to a key legal figure on the Moms 4 Housing legal team, “so much of the struggle for human rights always is.”[96] Moms 4 Housing needed more than just litigation to achieve housing justice so that they could raise their children with dignity—they needed a combination of media outreach, policy efforts, community organizing, and movement lawyering led by rebellious lawyers.[97]

According to one movement lawyering scholar, movement lawyering is “[l]awyering that supports and advances social movements, defined as the building and exercise of collective power, led by the most directly impacted, to achieve systemic institutional and cultural change.”[98] Social movements are often built within the grey areas of the law, and a rebellious lawyer’s role in movement lawyering must be “to utilize legal strategies and tactics when deemed appropriate and effective by those leading campaigns, especially in the context of broader social justice movements.”[99]

More traditional lawyering strategizes narrowly in terms of policy and legal victories, but community organizers and grassroots leaders do not think in terms of changing laws or policies—they think in terms of changing the power dynamics that create and perpetuate systemic oppression and keep their communities marginalized.[100] These communities know policies are just words on paper so long as the underlying power dynamics that created their oppression remain in place.[101] To support movements that are forced to fight against powerful entities, movement lawyers must look beyond changing laws and policies and must instead listen to the members of the community, the challenges they’ve faced in enforcement, and what they need to move forward.

Traditional legal training does not prepare lawyers with the analytical tools or skillsets to envision a viable victory outside the law,[102] but movement lawyers benefit from an expanded vision because they are trained by the communities they serve. When representing communities unsupported by the law and unprotected by policy changes, movement lawyers must be flexible in finding a supportive role that utilizes their licenses in a more practical way.

The role of lawyers in the Moms 4 Housing and other reproductive and housing justice movements must be a supportive one that takes direction from community organizing in order to yield the effective results that Moms 4 Housing was able to accomplish.

And that is what the Moms 4 Housing eviction lawyer did. She knew the company who owned the home had a property right that would override Moms 4 Housing’s unrecognized human right to housing, but she made the argument for the right to housing anyway. And though they lost the eviction case, the subsequent series of events lead to an ultimate victory. The eviction ruling made headlines; the violent, aggressive eviction process sparked outrage in the community and among local and state leaders; and those leaders took steps to allow Moms 4 Housing to stay in the home and provided access to fifty other affordable homes in Oakland.[103] This would not have been possible without Moms 4 Housing organizing, raising community awareness and support, and making their story known. The lawyer was but one small piece.

Countless multifaceted barriers preclude people experiencing homelessness from achieving true reproductive autonomy, but lawyers can support community efforts by utilizing the legal tactics deemed appropriate by the social movements they support. Right now, there is no legally recognized human right to housing that will hold up in court; however, the public, the media, and elected officials can treat housing as a human right so that the obstacles to reproductive justice can be addressed at their source.



Housing injustice serves as a significant barrier to reproductive justice. The barriers to have children, to not have children, and to raise children with dignity specific to experiencing homelessness reveal that achieving housing justice is a necessary step in ensuring reproductive freedom, autonomy, and control. While existing safety nets for people experiencing homelessness are inadequate in attaining reproductive justice, lawyers can effectuate justice through rebellious movement lawyering in collaboration with community organizers by incorporating innovative, non-legal strategies to achieve true reproductive justice.


          *     J.D., 2020, University of San Francisco School of Law, magna cum laude, Public Interest Law Certificate; B.A., 2017, University of California, Santa Cruz, Community Studies and Sociology. Norah currently works in the public interest field in her role as an attorney at Justice At Last, an organization providing free wrap around legal services to survivors of human trafficking in the Bay Area. She would like to thank USF Law Professors Bill Hing, Yvonne Lindgren, and Julie Nice, as well as USF Law Review Volume 56 staff, particularly Editors Amy Metzgar and Laura Odujinrin.

         [1].     Injustice in Housing Is a Reproductive Justice Issue, Abortion Gang (Sept. 8, 2010), https://abortiongang.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/injustice-in-housing-is-a-reproductive-justice-issue/ [https://perma.cc/7CR6-EYHQ].

         [2].     Moms4Housing, https://moms4housing.org/ [https://perma.cc/5N99-PYL5].

         [3].     I will use the term “unhoused” rather than “homeless” to refer to people without homes to diminish the character stigmas attached with being unhoused. I will use the phrase “experiencing homelessness” to give weight to the barriers folks experiencing homelessness have faced in overcoming these stigmas. For a further discussion on this terminology, see Peter Lee, Homeless or Unhoused?, Inside OSL (Jan. 14, 2014), http://blog.oslserves.org/?p=38 [https://perma.cc/

         [4].     Brentin Mock & Sarah Holder, A Group of Mothers, a Vacant Home, and a Win for Fair Housing, CityLab (Jan. 28, 2020, 6:54 AM), https://www.citylab.com/equity/2020/01/moms-4-housing-eviction-oakland-homeless-crisis-real-estate/605263/ [https://perma.cc/FQ52-74F3].

         [5].     Molly Solomon, ‘We’re Not Leaving’: Homeless Mom Says After Judge Orders Oakland Home Vacated, KQED (Jan. 10, 2020), https://www.kqed.org/news/11795419/judge-orders-homeless-mothers-to-leave-oakland-home [https://perma.cc/UXC8-RMA5].

         [6].     Id. In Oakland, there are currently four times as many empty homes as there are people without homes, including children without homes. Moms4Housing, supra note 2.

         [7].     Jill Cowan & Conor Dougherty, Homeless Mothers Are Removed from an Oakland House, N.Y. Times (Jan. 15, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/15/us/oakland-homeless-eviction.html [https://perma.cc/Y5D6GXKY].

         [8].     Jonny Coleman, How a Collective of Mothers Flipped the Script on Housing, The Nation (Jan. 24, 2020), https://www.thenation.com/article/activism/moms-4-housing-oakland/ [https://

         [9].     Cowan & Dougherty, supra note 7.

      [10].     Mock & Holder, supra note 4.

      [11].     E.g., Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders), Twitter (Jan. 19, 2020, 2:20 PM), https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/1219021716636209152 [https://perma.cc/QS4B-542Y]; Bypass TV (@bypass_tv), Twitter (Jan. 20, 2020, 1:55 PM), https://twitter.com/bypass_tv/status/
1219377893731516416 [https://perma.cc/J2AG-M8EH].

      [12].     Solomon, supra note 5.

      [13].     Cowan & Dougherty, supra note 7. Moms 4 Housing’s lawyer encouraged Oakland residents who objected to the use of excessive force in this eviction “to file a taxpayer lawsuit against the city or sheriff’s department for wasting public dollars.” Mock & Holder, supra note 4.

      [14].     Alaa Elassar, Homeless Mothers with Oakland’s ‘Moms 4 Housing’ Have Been Forcibly Evicted from a Vacant Home They Were Occupying, CNN (Jan 15, 2020, 7:05 AM), https://www.cnn.com/
2020/01/15/us/moms-4-housing-homeless-evicted-oakland-trnd/index.html [https://perma.cc/

      [15].     Cowan & Dougherty, supra note 7.

      [16].     Coleman, supra note 8; Haaziq Madyun, ‘This Is Our Property’: Homeless Moms Return to Oakland Home to Find Belongings on Street, KRON4 (Jan. 15, 2020, 6:15 PM), https://www.kron4.com/
news/bay-area/this-is-our-property-homeless-moms-return-to-oakland-home-to-find-belongings-on-street/ [https://perma.cc/Z5YF-B7AV].

      [17].     Solomon, supra note 5.

      [18].     Id.

      [19].     I will use the term “pregnant people” to be inclusive of pregnant transgendered men. For more information on pregnant transgendered men and the barriers they face in accessing health care and reproductive justice, see Serena Sonoma, Trans Men Face Barriers Within the Health Care System, Out (Aug. 16, 2019, 2:35 PM), https://www.out.com/health/2019/8/16/pregnant-trans-men-face-barriers-within-health-care-system [https://perma.cc/CY5T-ASXV].

      [20].     Zakiya Luna & Kristin Luker, Reproductive Justice, 9 Ann. Rev. L. & Soc. Sci. 327, 330 (2013).

      [21].     Loretta Ross, What is Reproductive Justice?, The Pro-Choice Public Education Project, https://www.protectchoice.org/section.php?id=28 [https://perma.cc/2FEN-KEP7].

      [22].     Id.; Luna & Luker, supra note 20, at 328, 333.

      [23].     Ross, supra note 21; Luna & Luker, supra note 20, at 328.

      [24].     Brief of Amici Curiae Reproductive Justice Scholars Supporting Petitioners—Cross-Respondents at 24, June Medical Services v. Rebekah Gee, Nos. 18-1323, 18-1460 (2020) [hereinafter June Medical Amici]; Luna & Luker, supra note 20, at 328.

    [25].   June Medical Amici, supra note 24, at 24.

      [26].     June Medical Amici, supra note 24, at 24; Luna & Luker, supra note 20, at 329.

      [27].     June Medical Amici, supra note 24, at 24.

      [28].     Luna & Luker, supra note 20, at 328.

      [29].     I will use the pronouns they/them/theirs to be inclusive of transgendered men, those assigned female at birth, and female-identifying folks in recognition of their heightened barriers to reproductive justice. For more information on gendered pronouns and their uses, see Support of Gender Inclusive Pronouns, Bottom Line, https://www.bottomline.org/content/support-gender-inclusive-pronouns [https://perma.cc/8XBK-64TP].

      [30].     See infra Part II.A.

      [31].     For example, in San Francisco in 2017 through 2018, Black residents made up 35% of the unhoused population, despite representing only 5.6% of the population. QuickFacts, San Francisco County, California, United States Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/sanfranciscocountycalifornia/PST045218#PST045218 [https://perma.cc/
83XF-3TNQ]; Beth Spotswood, 2017 San Francisco ‘Homeless Census’ Reveals That Despite Numbers, Things Are Worse, Not Better, SFist (Jun. 26, 2017), https://sfist.com/2017/06/26/2017_san_francisco_homeless_census/ [https://perma.cc/E7YP-APDB].

      [32].     In San Francisco in 2019, 12% of the population reported identifying as LGBTQ+, yet 27% of the total unhoused population (including both youth and adults) identified as LGBTQ+. Meg Elison, More Queer People than Ever Living on the Street in SF, The Bay Area Reporter (July 10, 2019), https://www.ebar.com/news/news/278723 [https://perma.cc/3Z6E-TM7P]. Further, a national study found that anywhere between 20–40% of all homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+. Dany Ricci, Nearly Half of SF’s Homeless Youth Are LGBTQ, SF LGBT Center, https://www.sfcenter.org/lgbt-san-francisco/homeless-lgbtq-youth/ [https://

      [33].     While recognizing that survivors of domestic violence identify as a variety of genders, studies have shown that a significant majority of survivors identify as women. Domestic Violence and Homelessness, ACLU, https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/dvhomelessness032106.pdf [https://perma.cc/J2ZW-PLRF].

      [34].     Id. (“Approximately 4 out of every 10 non-Hispanic Black women (43.7%), 4 out of every 10 American Indian or Alaska Native women (46.0%), and 1 in 2 multiracial non-Hispanic women (53.8%) have been the victim of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. These rates are 30%–50% higher than those experienced by Hispanic, White non-Hispanic women and Asian or Pacific non-Hispanic women.”).

      [35].     See Pam Fessler, Proposed Rule Could Evict 55,000 Children from Subsidized Housing, NPR (May 10, 2019, 3:02 PM), https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/722173775/proposed-rule-could-evict-55-000-children-from-subsidized-housing [http://perma.cc/Q3NK-CH7U]; see also Alejandro Davila Fragoso & Esther Yu Hsi Lee, No Home, No Papers, No Help: The
Plight of Undocumented Immigrants on the Street
, ThinkProgress (June 29, 2016, 12:30 PM), https://thinkprogress.org/no-home-no-papers-no-help-the-plight-of-undocumented-immigrants-on-the-street-e613d31465c4/ [https://perma.cc/X5TW-LGG5].

      [36].     Injustice in Housing is a Reproductive Justice Issue, supra note 1.

      [37].     The barriers discussed in this Part are meant to serve as illustrative examples rather than a comprehensive survey.

      [38].     See Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992) (“Our cases recognize ‘the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.’”) (emphasis in original) (quoting Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438, 453 (1972)).

    [39].   See New Study: Unstable Housing During Pregnancy Ups Rehospitalization Odds by 170%, UCSF Cal. Preterm Birth Initiative (Oct. 16, 2019), https://pretermbirthca.ucsf.edu/news/new-study-unstable-housing-during-pregnancy-ups-rehospitalization-odds-170 [http://perma.cc/

      [40].     Lisa M. Larson, New Study Shows Homeless Women More Likely to Face Pregnancy Complications, UMass Med News (Jan. 8, 2019), https://www.umassmed.edu/news/news-archives/2019/01/
new-study-shows-homeless-women-more-likely-to-face-pregnancy-complications/ [http://perma.cc/36QM-B49B].

      [41].     Robert E. Clark, Linda Weinreb, Julie M. Flahive & Robert W. Seifert, Homelessness Contributes to Pregnancy Complications, 38 Health Affairs 139 (2019).

      [42].     Id. at 145.

      [43].     Id. at 143.

      [44].     Id. at 140.

      [45].     Id. at 139, 143.

      [46].     New Study: Unstable Housing During Pregnancy, supra note 39.

      [47].     Id.

      [48].     Id.

      [49].     Id.

      [50].     Bigad Shaban et al., Rising Number of Homeless Newborns, Pregnant Women Struggling in San Francisco, NBC Bay Area (Nov. 21, 2017, 10:31 AM), https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/number-homeless-pregnant-women-newborns-on-the-rise-in-san-francisco/37786/  [https://perma.cc/KKJ8-FUYF].

      [51].     Sara Kennedy et al., A Qualitative Study of Pregnancy Intention and the Use of Contraception Among Homeless Women with Children, 25 J. Health Care for the Poor & Underserved 757, 760 (2014).

      [52].     Id.

      [53].     Id.

      [54].     Id.

      [55].     See Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 877 (1992) (recognizing “the woman’s right to make the ultimate decision” of whether to have a child).

      [56].     Kennedy et al., supra note 52, at 761.

      [57].     Id.

      [58].     Id.

      [59].     Id. at 762–63.

      [60].     Id. at 763.

      [61].     Id. at 764.

      [62].     Id.

      [63].     Id. at 763–67.

      [64].     Id. at 761.

      [65].     Id. at 762.

      [66].     Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, Health Care for Homeless Women, The Am. Coll. Obstetricians & Gynecologists (Oct. 2013), https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2013/10/health-care-for-homeless-women [https://perma.cc/A697-E4CZ].

      [67].     Marcela Smid, Philippe Bourgois & Colette L. Auerswald, The Challenge of Pregnancy Among Homeless Youth: Reclaiming a Lost Opportunity, 21 J. Health Care for the Poor & Underserved 140, 147 (2010).

      [68].     Id. at 152.

      [69].     Id.

      [70].     See Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644, 663 (2015) (“The fundamental liberties protected by [the Due Process] Clause . . . . extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy.”).

      [71].     For more information on the number and demographics of families experiencing homelessness, see Homelessness in America: Focus on Families with Children, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (Sept. 2018), https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/
Homeslessness_in_America_Families_with_Children.pdf [https://perma.cc/968L-BGXX].

      [72].     Douglas Walton, Michelle Wood & Lauren Dunton, Child Separation Among Families Experiencing Homelessness, OPRE (Mar. 2018), https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/
opre/opre_child_separation_brief_03_22_2018_508_2.pdf [https://perma.cc/88Q3-LYWS].

      [73].     Id. at 2.

      [74].     Id. at 2, 4. These numbers reflect both voluntary and involuntary separations. Id. at 1.

      [75].     Id. at 1.

      [76].     Id. at 9. See also, e.g., Invisible People, Amanda is a Pregnant Woman Homeless on the Streets of Philadelphia, YouTube (Dec. 4, 2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMXkBdqj_5M [https://perma.cc/5A2P-XFBQ] (unhoused woman explaining how her five children were separated from her).

      [77].     Katie Dupere, 7 Unique Challenges Homeless Women Face—and What You Can Do to Help, Mashable (Apr. 13, 2016), https://mashable.com/2016/04/13/homeless-women-challenges/ [https://perma.cc/8LBU-NEB8].

      [78].     Gladys Fonfield-Ayinla, My Experience Parenting While Homeless, Homeless Hub (2009), https://www.homelesshub.ca/resource/my-experience-parenting-while-homeless [https://perma.cc/Q54Q-Y45S].

      [79].     See, e.g., Olga Khazan, The Hardest Job: Could You Raise Four Children in a Homeless Shelter Without Spanking?, The Atlantic (Dec. 8, 2015), https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/
2015/12/the-hardest-job/419166/ [https://perma.cc/A7VU-A4UU].

      [80].     KPIX CBS SF Bay Area, Pregnant Homeless Women Struggle on Bay Area Streets, YouTube (Nov. 16, 2019), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJUp0Jcgp5s [https://perma.cc/3PSC-JMWR] (statement by unhoused pregnant woman living in San Francisco).

      [81].     This Comment uses San Francisco as an example because of its high unhoused population and its reputation for being a generally progressive city with public support systems for vulnerable communities.

      [82].     Jennifer Friedenback & Valerie Schmalz, SF Must Help Pregnant Homeless Women Who Qualify for Housing, SF Chronicle (June 7, 2018), https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/
article/SF-must-help-pregnant-homeless-women-qualify-for-12976596.php [https://perma.cc/

      [83].     Id.

      [84].     Id.

      [85].     Shaban et al., supra note 51.

      [86].     KPIX CBS SF Bay Area, supra note 81.

      [87].     Id. (statement by Martha Ryan, Founder and Director of the Homeless Prenatal Program).

      [88].     Maria L. La Ganga, Evicted Oakland Moms Will Get Their House Back After Deal with Redondo Beach Company, L.A. Times (Jan. 20, 2020, 6:52 PM), https://www.latimes.com/california/story/
2020-01-20/homeless-moms-4-housing-oakland-wedgewood-properties-deal [https://perma.cc/

      [89].     Id.

      [90].     See Molly Solomon, Moms 4 Housing Celebrate Win in Battle over Vacant House, NPR (Jan. 22, 2020, 5:06 AM), https://www.npr.org/2020/01/22/798392207/moms-4-housing-celebrate-win-in-battle-over-vacant-house [https://perma.cc/KM6S-KNDY].

      [91].     Id.

      [92].     Id.

      [93].     La Ganga, supra note 89 .

      [94].     Solomon, supra note 91.

      [95].     Mayor Libby Schaaf, Agreements Reached Between Wedgewood, Moms 4 Housing, and the Office of the Mayor, Facebook (Jan. 20, 2020, 12:37 PM), https://www.facebook.com/watch/?ref=external&v=199649621211928.

      [96].     Andrew Cohen, On the Front Lines: Moms 4 Housing Leaders Discuss Movement Lawyering, Berkeley Law (Mar. 2, 2020), https://www.law.berkeley.edu/article/on-the-front-lines-moms-4-housing-leaders-discuss-movement-lawyering/ [https://perma.cc/9T47-CV87].

      [97].     See generally id.

      [98].     Betty Hung, Movement Lawyering as Rebellious Lawyering: Advocating with Humility, Love and Courage, 23 Clinical L. Rev. 663, 664 (2017).

      [99].     Id. at 665.

    [100].     See Alexi Nunn Freeman & Jim Freeman, It’s About Power, Not Policy: Movement Lawyering for Large-Scale Social Change, 23 Clinical L. Rev. 147, 149–50 (2016).

    [101].     See id. at 150.

    [102].     Id. at 166 (citing Duncan Kennedy, Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy, 32 J. Legal Educ. 591, 598 (1982)).

    [103].     See supra Introduction.