Reproductive Rights as a Historical and Feminist Issue

914 WordsOct 10, 20124 Pages
Reproductive Rights as a Contemporary and Historical Feminist Issue Essay #1 / Final Exam American Women’s History H. June Laves One of the biggest issues facing women in American society today has been an issue bouncing around in politics for decades: reproductive rights. Women can never have equal opportunity to men without equal opportunity to make their own decisions about their bodies. Reproductive rights for women not only include the right to abort a pregnancy, but it also involves any choice a woman may make concerning her body. She must have the right to choose when she wants to get pregnant, choose when she wants to have sex, have easy access to information about her body and reproductive system, as well as access to…show more content…
Many women of color in low economic standing were pressured into having sterilization procedures. These women were forced to make the life-altering decision usually while they were on the table just after delivering their child. Female sterilization of colored women at this time was equated to racial genocide, as it drastically cut down the predicted birthrate. Repugnant as this was, many states were chastised because they would fund these sterilizations but they would not support welfare programs to support these same families. Women should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies, especially when it comes to their sexual identity. Women should be able to decide whether or not they want to carry a child, and those who argue that women who deny motherhood are not listening to the women who argue for reproductive rights. Women need the power to control their bodies because that is the epitome of owning the power to be considered an equal in society. Women would not end up in abusive situations concerning their bodies if information and prevention were more readily available. With knowledge comes power, and that is proven in every argument through history. Argument for reproductive rights becomes a national topic every time the presidential race rolls around.
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