Saturday, March 17, 2007

FAQ: What do feminists mean by "reproductive freedom"?

Updated 19Mar2007

Reproductive freedom is so much more than merely being pro-choice. Without reproductive freedom, women's rights to legal equality and social equity cannot be guaranteed.

"Defined by feminists in the 1970s as a basic human right, it includes the right to abortion and birth control, but implies much more. To be realised, reproductive freedom must include not only woman's right to choose childbirth, abortion, sterilisation or birth control, but also her right to make those choices freely, without pressure from individual men, doctors, governmental or religious authorities. It is a key issue for women, since without it the other freedoms we appear to have, such as the right to education, jobs and equal pay, may prove illusory. Provisions of childcare, medical treatment, and society's attitude towards children are also involved."
--The Encyclopedia of Feminism (1986) Lisa Tuttle
ISBN 0-09-944900-5

There are many issues affecting reproductive freedom in various parts of the world: forced-childbirth (eg Romania), forced-abortion (eg China), access to affordable birth control (all countries without universal health care), any access to birth control, access to a healthy diet sufficient to grow healthy babies and safely undergo childbirth, unnecessary caesarians (most Western nations), female genital mutilation (increases childbirth risks), inequitable access to healthcare for women, and many many more.

Submissions are requested for articles addressing these issues.

The pro-choice/pro-life debate will be covered in detail in a separate post (in progress).

Evidence Based Midwifery Care
Joyous Birth (homebirth advocacy)
Birthrites (caesarian advice): Scroll down their sidebar for various links (shocking site layout) | Planning a Positive Caesarean for women who need/want a caesarean and want to be in control.

Anyone know some sites where Obstetricians fully embrace evidence-based obstetrics rather than economically/professionally/traditionally rationalised obstetrics? There must be a few. Surely?

Clarifying Concepts

Rights during Childbirth/Birth Abuse

You may never have considered intrusive obstetric practises as abuse, or as "birthrape", a term coming into wider use. This may change your mind.
"Just because it is the standard of care, doesn't mean it's ethical."
Why pro-choice?
thinking girl (Thinking Girl): Blog for Choice Day 2007 (lots of links, and a very interesting discussion addressing dissenters)

Check Googlesearch for top-linked "Blog for Choice" posts.

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