Written by: Mori Klin
We have been fighting for our rights for centuries. While it’s been nearly three decades since the wave of terrorism occurring between 1993 and 2009; when Dr. David Gunn, one of the first of four abortion care providers, was murdered in the United States (HuffPost, 2017). Today, feminists persevere in agitating for reproductive freedom. Despite several great leaps, baby-steps, and bearable setbacks, our reproductive rights and sexual health remain an argumentative issue. This argument seeks to obliterate a woman’s control over when to deliver babies into the world, the number of children we have, and other decisions about birth, such as those regarding whether one’s father or rapist should assume a co-role as parent.
Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights, and a women’s legal access to reproductive services is just one component of acceptable and humane treatment. The state, therefore, is expected to protect, respect, and ensure that all rights relating to women are fulfilled. Additionally, each state should ensure that we enjoy the highest attainable standards of health care, which includes quality in services and pharmaceuticals; with health care facilities that are;
- Adequate in number to serve those in need
- Physically and economically accessible
- Accepts everyone without discrimination
Even though few people identify themselves as feminists, most support our ideals of feminism, which address all of the political, economic, and social issues pertaining to the sexes. For example, choices regarding when a woman is personally prepared for parenthood and becoming a child’s mother are frequently associated with the stability of a relationship and life in general. Concurrently, women in partnerships often seek medical assistance to prevent unplanned pregnancies and control family size. For younger women, pregnancy is particularly impactful, as birth control and access to proper abortion often determine whether or not she will become educated, her career potential, financial class, and future economic security. Therefore, it is within this feminist context that we must seek legal rights that give us freedom and dominion over our sexual and reproductive lives.
Laws that support reproductive freedom help to protect women who currently suffer from societal conditions making it nearly impossible for them to become parents. Undermining legal access to abortion – aborts the right to choose without solving the problems affecting female lives, neither before or after a child is born. The female decision-making process is thwarted most catastrophically when reproductive rights are neglected in cases of incest and rape. Restrictive reproductive laws result in unsafe procedures and maternal death, all of which fail to significantly reduce rates of abortion.