In 1973, the United States Supreme Court voted to uphold the legality of abortion. In the period immediately after the decision, small steps were staring to be made to make basic women’s healthcare available to all women in the country; regardless of race, religion, or income bracket. The role of pro-choice activists, however, quickly began to need to shape itself around countering antiabortion initiatives. At the front of the conservative agenda is the restriction of affordable contraception and pregnancy care. In the current political climate, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, for many women of all backgrounds, it is hard to receive an abortion safely and privately. Modern laws and policies have so greatly
Margret Sanger, writer of the essay “The Right to One’s Body” will be the author for this primary review. Sanger, as described by biography.com, was “… an early feminist and women’s rights activist who coined the term ‘birth control’ and worked towards its legalization” (“Margaret Sanger”). Margret was also responsible for the creation of the first planned parenthood center, and later was a founding member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Margret most notably belonged to the birth control movement, as she was a nurse working with women who were directly affected by the lack of child care options at the time. She continued her activism as
Today, the availability of birth control is taken for granted. There was a time, not long passed, during which the subject was illegal (“Margaret Sanger,” 2013, p.1). That did not stop the resilient leader of the birth control movement. Margaret Sanger was a nurse and women’s activist. While working as a nurse, Sanger treated many women who had suffered from unsafe abortions or tried to self-induce abortion (p.1). Seeing this devastation and noting that it was mainly low income women suffering from these problems, she was inspired to dedicate her life to educating women on family planning—even though the discussion of which was highly illegal at the time (p.1). She was often in trouble with
The battle for reproductive rights began well over a hundred years ago. At a time when families were producing more children than they could afford to feed, many women were seeking primitive forms of birth control and undergoing abortions. It was in the 1860s that a postal inspector turned politician named Anthony Comstock, in partnership with the Young Men’s Christian Association, set out on a crusade to condemn all forms of birth control and any kind of abortion by claiming they violated “anti-obscenity laws” (Baer). These men eventually succeeded and created the Comstock Laws in 1873 that prohibited all “sales, advertising, or information on birth control” (Baer).
The reproductive rights of women have always been a hotly debated topic between those who support a women’s right to an abortion and those who vehemently oppose it. The United States Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case Roe vs. Wade that it was legally a woman’s right to have an abortion in 1973, and clearly outlines that states “cannot pass laws that create an undue burden” for women who choose to exercise their rights and terminate their pregnancy. Since then, there have been consistent challenges from many states along with pro-life organizations all over the country to find ways to limit and to control the reproductive rights of women. In 1992, even though the ruling of Roe vs. Wade was confirmed in the case of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, the Supreme Court also ruled that states can create regulations to limit abortions in order to protect the safety and health of the mother and the life of the unborn fetus. The outcome has resulted in several traditionally conservative states including Arkansas, Texas, North Dakota and Indiana passing laws that are cleverly disguised as rules to protect women, but ultimately makes it extremely difficult if not all together impossible for women to seek a legal abortion.
This tiered system sets up privileges that are difficult, if not impossible, to break out of. “Even before the cuts less than 20% of women in need… were served… out of the 1.7 million women in need” (Stevenson, 2014). A legislation that was created to benefit and, as the advocates for the bill have said before, create the ideal world without abortion has succeed in undermining the health and safety of the individuals within the state. The benefits of this bill help little to no one as people are forced to conform based around moral ideals.
Bridgewater (2009) argues that an understanding of reproductive justice and the implications of its regulations in the U.S requires more than just a deep understanding of the laws that govern reproductive rights but also a very good understanding of the story of slavery. Slavery experiences of reproductive oppression, especially towards the Women of Color in the U.S, have fueled the movement for reproductive rights. The lack of freedom to reproductive rights and decisions has subjected the Women of Color to racism and sexism, creating stereotyped minds that they cannot be in control of their reproductive bodies. Bridgewater’s methodology was to
In the news article “Abortion: Every Woman’s Rights” Sharon Smith wrote an article about women’s rights to get abortions prior to the hearing of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey court case, “which threatened to severely restrict women access to abortion” (Smith). Women wanted reproductive control over their lives and felt that they were not equal to men no matter what advances they got at work and how high their level of education was. The women’s right movement wanted women to have the choice of abortion for all women, the rich and the poor. In the US, thirty- seven states did not provide
Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement highlighted a variety of important issues. These issues include women’s right to make decisions privately versus the right of a community to regulate moral behavior; the ethnic demographics of the American people; the ability of women to control their own physical destinies by limiting family size; and the idea that small families were the way to keep the American dream alive. The debate over birth control spoke to personal and political issues, which poses the question: Was birth control merely a matter of individual choice, or was it about power, wealth, opportunity and similar issues? Birth control was not merely a technique to expand the realm of personal freedom; it grew out of a radical
Public discussions of birth control were criminalized under the Comstock Act of 1873 because people believed it was immoral. Margaret Sanger, who had opened the first birth control clinic in 1916 in spite of the Comstock Act of 1873, was a feminist and advocate of eugenics. After serving prison time, Sanger returned publicly and illegally with drive to present a strong argument that defended the moral use of birth control. Prior to her morally controversial 1921 speech, Sanger was arrested in New York for her intent to advocate public knowledge pertaining to birth control. Although the ethical nature of using birth control is still controversial in America, Margaret Sanger’s 1921 speech “A Moral Necessity for Birth Control” was undoubtedly a catalyst for American women to be empowered with the flexibility to choose when to procreate, thus allowing women the economic ability to escape oppression. As a result of such empowerment, I will argue that the speech’s sententious delivery of the morality of birth control use was causal to the increased demographic of women with professional degrees.
The issue of abortion is one of the most controversial topics of our time, but recently the amount of public interest has grown exponentially. A number of bills regarding this policy issue such as Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 and Child Interstate Notification Act have both greatly influenced the public’s opinion of abortion. Although, the issue of abortion hasn’t always been like this; according to Timeline of Abortion Laws and Events, an article from the Chicago Tribune, “The earliest anti-abortion laws were intended to protect women from untrained abortionists.” (Timeline) Since the 1973 passing of the Supreme Court Case, Roe V Wade, women have been able to obtain the abortion procedure in all 50 states, 46 of which were
Birth control has been a controversial topic since the 1960’s, when the pill arose on the scene and gained popularity. Men and women of certain religious faiths have sought to prevent other women from using birth control. However, most women want to be able to choose when the time is right for them to have a child. This is why birth control is essential, because it allows women and couples in general the freedom to choose and plan their families. In many cases the need to control women by controlling their access to birth control goes all the way to the federal government. The federal government determines what types of birth control are allowed on the market and who has access to them. Some Presidential administrations look more kindly
Since the 1960s, the fight to receive accessible and affordable abortions has been a largely controversial issue in the United States. The case Roe v. Wade was the climax of that fight, for “the Court held that... only a pregnant woman and her doctor have the legal right to make the decision about an abortion” (“History of Abortion”). Although Roe v. Wade ultimately made abortions legal in the States, there are still setbacks for affordable and accessible abortions today, and many of these conflicts may be directly traced to state-by-state determination of abortion laws.
The decision in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States, had a very evident and profound impact on the social and political climates of the United States. Before the case, it had seemed that abortion was a settled issue in America: a majority of people opposed the practice, and a majority of states had abortion bans. However, by the 1960’s, political factions and campaigns were rising up and stirring the waters of reproductive rights. Abortion had changed during the courses of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, morphing from a private practice of the people into a great political divide. Abortion was actually easily accessible during the Nineteenth Century, but the rise of religious fundamentalism compelled citizens to become involved in either the protection of the fetus or the defense of reproductive rights. Roe v. Wade has been either labeled as the legal settling of the abortion issue or the igniter of change in regards to abortion. The decision not only affected the minds of the people, but the decision had also set a legal precedent that affected more than thirty Supreme Court cases that later dealt with abortion (Planned Parenthood).
Intersectionality according to Patricia Hill Collins is the “theory of the relationship between race, gender and class” (1990), also known as the “matrix of domination” (2000). This matrix shows that there is no one way to understand the complex nature of how gender, race and class inequalities within women’s lives can be separated; for they are intertwined within each other.