Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights

The right to bodily self-determination

13
Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights
Stockpic.org

I believe in pro-choice. I believe that every person, with the reproductive organs to get pregnant and give birth, has the right to choose if, when, and how they decide to have children. On the topic of reproductive rights, I have recently learned how women of color have contributed their own arguments on reproductive justice.

In the chapter “Women of Color and Their Struggle for Reproductive Justice” of the book Undivided Rights Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice Silliman et al. argue that women of color have conflicting viewpoints about pro-choice ideology due to a history of sexual exploitation and oppression against black women. Although black women might fully support bodily self-determination (regarding the right to have/not have children), they are against population control and those medical tools and policies designed to control fertility. According to Silliman et al., examples of current population control methods include

  • Eugenics laws
  • Immigration restrictions
  • Sterilization abuses
  • Targeted family planning
  • Welfare reform

For example, by controlling who gets healthcare (desired population) would mean that the poor and working class (undesired population according to a classist society) do not get healthcare which would make living conditions extremely difficult for anyone trying to raise a family. Women in poor and working class communities might decide not to have a child, even though they would have had circumstances been better because the cost of having a child even before giving birth is extremely expensive. Those women who decide not to have children out of economic necessity are not actually free in their choice because economic constraints forced their hand.

I think mainstream feminism, should follow the lead of women of color on reproductive justice because they too care about bodily self-determination in addition to being anti-coercive sterilization and anti-invasive long-term birth control technology. I am still struggling wrapping my head around why mainstream feminist ideology on reproductive justice does not include the reproductive rights of women of color. Does intersectional feminist ideology take a stance on forced sterilization and long-term birth control technologies? As an intersectional feminist, I feel obligated to follow women of color on this issue. I want to continue growing as an ally to multiple movements and causes, and that means supporting the concerns of women of color including aspects of reproductive justice I previously did not know existed. This way, individual choice and safe and affordable contraceptives are still advocated, and the methods of population control can be addressed as well.

Silliman et al. quote Frances Beal who states:

“Black women have the right and responsibility to determine when…to have children or not to have them…It is also in her own best interests to have children, how many she will have and how far apart. The lack of the availability of safe birth control methods, the forced sterilization practices, and the inability to obtain legal abortions are all symptoms of a decadent society that jeopardizes the health of black women…”

This argument is extremely relevant to today’s society for all women. This is another reason why safe and affordable birth control is so important. It is every woman’s right to decide when, where, how, and why they would like to have children and still be able to have safe sex. When ethical birth preventative measures are taken and a woman still gets pregnant, she has the right to decide whether she will terminate her pregnancy. One person’s moral objections to this decision, especially if they are a doctor or politician, should not infringe on another person’s right to bodily self-determination.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

351
Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less
Entertainment

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

234319
illustration of the fibonacci sequence
StableDiffusion

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

89852
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments