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Stories About Reproductive Justice Essay

956 words - 4 pages

Name: Aboaba Bolanle
Course: WGST 170-007
Instructor: Brendan Muckian
Project: Reproductive Rights
Date: 04/03/2014
1) What are the main ideas and/or issues of the article as it relates to the chosen topic?

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 use the act of storytelling about experiences of victims of reproductive injustice to reinforce the efforts of Women of Color in advocating for justice to their reproductive rights. The author believes that relating these stories and experiences will put them in context of the law, thereby also helping to address issues of race or sex discrimination. For example, Bridgewater (2009) talked about three illiterate black poor women who were not given proper care because of their status as slaves.

2) Based on the reading from your textbook, what makes these ideas and/or issues so important to understand?

According to Silliman et al. (2004), Women of Color in the U.S negotiate their rights under a system that combines various interlocking forms of oppressions. Some of the different forms of oppression as highlighted by Silliman et al. (2004) are poverty, racism, environmental degradation and injustice in the United States. These oppressing factors restrain Women of Color from exercising their reproductive rights by removing or limiting reproductive choices. For example, the racist ideology, white “racial purity” has been used as a basis of justification for population control strategies in the U.S since the 19th century, Silliman et al. (2004). Some of the population control strategies were racially motivated that they became synonymous to the civil rights of poor women to medical care. These strategies continue to undermine the choices that the Women of Color have in deciding whether or not they want to have children because they do not want to be stigmatized with poverty. Obviously, the adverse and psychological effects of the various interlocking forms of oppressions that limits Women of Color’s reproductive rights makes it very important to understand them.

3) In what ways are the ideas and/or issues presented in the article related to the textbook reading?

Bridgewater (2009) discusses the relevance of slavery in the pursuit of reproductive freedom. Silliman et al. (2004) in the textbook advanced the definition of reproductive rights beyond abortion. Silliman et al. (2004) was more specific...

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