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Reproductive Rights

Dear Amy,

I'm a student. Currently, I'm having some discussion on what feminists mean by the term "reproductive rights" and what are the issues encompassed by the term. Do feminists believe reproductive rights are the foundation for women's right? Thank you for your help.

Regards, Ming


Dear Ming,

I actually get annoyed when feminists become overly dependent on the term reproductive rights because it actually means so many different things and really says very little. Also, when it is used, it is sometimes alienating because people don't really know what exactly is being discussed. I know that we have a need to synthesize things, but not to the extent of further confusion. That said, what is meant by the term reproductive rights is having access to reproductive health services. This includes health insurance coverage for birth control, health insurance in the first place to ensure that women can stay on top of their reproductive health needs, the right to take birth control, have an abortion or have a child, access to STD testing and also treatment. Also removing the stigma that is unfairly put on women for all of these things, when both involve men, too. Also, men have reproductive rights, too. They need to get STD testing, they need to know their rights and they need to know what safe sex is and why wearing a condom helps prevent pregnancy and diseases -- both of which should impact them as much as women. Does all of that make sense? I hope it clears things up -- take care.

-- Amy


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