Aspects of Women Reproductive Rights Vision by a Feminist

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours

In particular since the eighteenth century, the problems of the population have led to much discussion about how to achieve fair and sustainable social change. Malthus disagreed with other scholars about the relation between population growth and agricultural production and thus contributed to ongoing political economic discussions (Jackson and Pearson, 238). After the Second World War Economic Development Programme, which have often originated from such debates, became an important aspect of global debate. However, these discussions took another angle in 1970 in which they were addressed based on the implications they had for gender and social class. The first International Population Conferences was held in Bucharest in 1974 while the second one has held in 1984 Mexico City and the most recent one was held in Cairo in 1994.

International Population Conferences

The conferences aimed at providing invaluable windows into the current arguments surrounding the population issues. Every conference exposed a different fault line, and each is remembered for a specific message (Jackson and Pearson, 239). For instance, in 1974, Karan Singh stated that development was the best contraceptive. Singh was the minister for Health and family Planning in India, and his statement was highly criticized because two years earlier he had been at the front line in which they used force sterilized more than 10 million Indians in a political emergency to control the population (Jackson and Pearson, 239). On the other hand, the 1994 conference in Cairo is remembered for the association of Vatican and Islamic governments in which they aimed at preventing a Program in Action by demanding that the abortion as well as contraceptive issues to be left in the hands of the religious leaders and patriarchal leaders to make the decision. However, such moves were completely defeated since the Program of Action presented some form of consensus. Besides, some academic forums have acknowledged the discussions that took place in the Cairo conference especially on the statement about empowerment and autonomy of women. Reproductive rights fall into the category of human rights, and the Cairo document recognizes the diverse of the families as well as the right of women to control their fertility (Jackson and Pearson, 240). Much of the outcomes of Program of Action were facilitated by the women movement across the world by lobbying and drafting to ensure their views were not the only head but also accepted.

The population policy especially the ones discussed in the Cairo conference recapitulate some of the important argument in relation to the subordination of women which has been a key point in feminist debates (Petchesky, 661). Women empowerment has been the key theme, but different opinions on ways achieve it has been the great hindrance in determining the most suitable strategies to be employed. Some strands of feminism perceive women reproduction as what defines them and as the natural characteristic that distinguishes them from males (Jackson and Pearson, 240). Therefore, the attempt to control the women fertility and sexuality is the root course of women oppression and empowering women so that they can control their fertility and sexuality is the key priority.

Abortion Rights

The Roe vs. Wade (1973) became the feminist’s victory in relation to the abortion rights. The case involved a Roe who was a resident of Texas who wished to terminate her pregnancy through abortion. The laws of Texas considered abortion as illegal unless it was performed to save the life of the pregnant woman (Fried, 183). The Supreme Court of the Unite States ruled in favor of women in which it granted women the right to terminate pregnancy since it fell under the category of private rights which is protected by the fourth amendment. The court’s ruling granted the woman total autonomy regarding the pregnancy in the first three months of her pregnancy. Although the ruling was a great victory for feminist vision, the victory was obtained before the view of abortion as a basic right was widely accepted. The decision by the court was made in the middle of heated debates thus cutting short the discussions and represented the view of the minority (Fried, 184). That is the reason behind the controversies surrounding the issue of abortion up to date.

Reproductive Justice

The United States has a history in which it has acted ambivalently towards the idea of human rights rather than focusing on the narrower civil rights. This is evidenced by the fact that in 2008, the 44th president of the United States Barak Obama who was then the Democratic nominee for the Democratic party refused to sign the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act (Luna, 343). Besides, the US social movement organizations that are not explicitly engaged in human rights have been adamant in refusing to integrate human rights in their work. Reproductive as well as sexual health rights have never been given adequate attention in the United States. SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Collective is a unique reproductive justice movement in the United States that utilized the human right framework in their work. Activism by feminists have advocated for women rights as human rights, and this includes the reproductive and sexual health rights (Petchesky, 12). The fact that the physical territory in which there is a political struggle on what actually constitutes women rights is the women’s body places the reproduction as an important area of inquiry. According to Brian Turner who is a sociologist, the reproduction rights debates have emerged because of economic changes which have led to women gaining more economical and social power. He argues that people are becoming more aware of the vulnerability and the social movements have come forward to try and control some of the personal aspects of human lives (Luna, 344). However, Turner has failed to address the fact that the women of color have had to endure disproportionate consequences which are outcomes of such attempts to control.

The SisterSong was concerned about the woman and their need to control their bodies. They do not see it as a reproductive right but rather as a reproductive justice. The organization integrates human rights into its work in which it advocates for women to control their bodies from a narrower focus on the legal access and individual right to a broader analysis of the challenges on the agency. SisterSong argues that the intersectional theory of reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, political, social, environmental, spiritual and economic well-being of women that can be achieved by protecting the women rights. However, the inadequate widespread of human rights in the US limits the opportunities to mobilize the human rights discourse in the country which ultimately weakens the belief in the utility of the human rights. The SisterSong movement offers a scholarly understanding of the social movements that engage in human rights discourse. What the SisterSong organization is doing allows a clear view of their argument relating to women rights and reproductive rights (Luna, 344). By integrating the human rights discourse in their work, the social movement can critically evaluate additional social issues in which it would not be the case for organizations that focus on legal access to issues of reproduction such as abortion.

On the other hand, the organization acknowledges the achievements of the social groups in the past through narrow focus on the narrower civil rights approaches (Shaw and Lee, 427). However, it is evident more would be achieved if such movements included human rights discourse in their work since it helps balance the rhetoric presented by both individual and group identities which need protection. It rectifies the limitation of a movement that focused on racial justice at the expense of the woman of color racial identities (Ross, 14). Finally, educating the members of a social movement about the relevance of human rights moves the larger social movement to towards creating the conditions of possibilities that allow progress in human rights discourse within the country.

Freedom to Choose

The conditions at which abortion is allowed cannot be perceived as freedom to choose. Maggie Koerth Baker explains that only good abortion is one that she has decided. She explains how a woman is left with no choice if her gynecologist comes with the news that the developing fetus in her womb will not survive and is a threat to her life. At this juncture, the woman has no option except for abortion (Petchesky, 661). The situation allows her to have the abortion in a safe health facility without the name of an abortion clinic and she is held in higher regards than women who have decided to secure an abortion for reasons that are known to them. Such a woman’s operation will be covered by the health insurance. Koerth-Baker argues that the anti-abortionist will consider the decision made by a woman who has been advised to do so by a doctor as acceptable but it is not different from that of other women. She concludes it is not good abortion and there is no reason to treat it differently.

Works Cited

Fried, Marlene Gerber. From abortion to reproductive freedom: Transforming a movement. South End Press, 1990.

Jackson, Cecile, and Ruth Pearson, eds. Feminist visions of development: Gender analysis and policy. Routledge, 2005.

Luna, Zakiya. “From rights to justice: Women of color changing the face of US reproductive rights organizing.” Societies Without Borders 4.3 (2009): 343-365.

Petchesky, Rosalind P. “Human rights, reproductive health and economic justice: why they are indivisible.” Reproductive Health Matters 8.15 (2000): 12-17.

Petchesky, Rosalind Pollack. “Reproductive Freedom: Beyond” A Woman’s Right to Choose”.” Signs: Journal of women in culture and society 5.4 (1980): 661-685.

Ross, Loretta. “Understanding reproductive justice: Transforming the pro-choice movement.” Off our backs 36.4 (2006): 14-19.

Shaw, Susan M, and Janet Lee. Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. McGraw-Hill, 2012.

West, Robin. “From choice to reproductive justice: de-constitutionalizing abortion rights.” The Yale Law Journal (2009): 1394-1432.

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Let a professional writer get your back and save some time!

Hire Writer

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price