Thoughts & Quotes About Women’s Reproductive Rights
May 23, 2019
The War on Women’s Reproductive Rights
There is no question— as we women begin to explore our lives in ways we’ve never had the freedom (or ability) to before, we must always remember that protecting our relatively newly acquired rights is profoundly important. In just three months the aforementioned states have all passed laws that threaten women’s reproductive rights by severely restricting access to abortion.
In some cases, these anti-choice laws make it illegal to get an abortion after just six weeks gestation, a time frame in which most women don’t yet know that they are pregnant. Alabama’s law bans abortion in almost all cases—even those that include rape and incest. The law also carries up to a 99-year sentence for doctors who perform abortions.
Every woman must have the right to make decisions that pertain to her body, especially when it comes to having and carrying a pregnancy to full term. To be truly free and equal, the control of a woman’s body and what happens to it (and inside of it) must be left up to her.
There is a slew of arguments being flung around the internet about the rights of the unborn child vs. the rights of the woman carrying it. As ridiculous as it may seem, it’s vital that we continue to educate and fight for women’s reproductive rights.
An Argument Regarding the Legality of a Woman’s Right to Choose
This eloquent statement regarding the legalities of abortion rights is one that came across my feed and really stood out. It’s well worth taking some time to read and sharing widely.
“Shared with permission…and permission
for others to share far and wide. I found this brilliantly insightful and
compelling.” Clint Miller
“Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a showstopper. One of the best explanations I have read:
‘Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a “human life” – that’s a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn’t obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not.
Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973).
Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child’s life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent.
It doesn’t matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else—the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person’s body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or many lives they would save. That’s the law.
Use of a woman’s uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life—It must be offered voluntarily.
By all means, profess your belief that providing one’s uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees.
But legally, it must be the woman’s choice to carry out the pregnancy. She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.’” B
Women’s Rights are Human Rights
If you find yourself in the midst of a debate over women’s reproductive rights, or you just need a little fuel for your fire (don’t let it be snuffed), I’ve pulled together some of my favorite quotes about women’s reproductive rights by some of my favorite Sheroes.
Keep fighting the good fight ladies. It is more important now, than it has ever been before that we stand together and fight for what is rightfully ours: complete control over our reproductive rights.
11 quotes about women’s reproductive rights
- “No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.” ― Margaret Sanger
- “The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.” ― Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- “Defending women’s health means defending access to abortion — not just in theory, but in reality. We know that restricting access doesn’t make women less likely to end a pregnancy. It just makes abortion less safe. And that then threatens women’s lives.” –Hillary Clinton
- “I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.” ― Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
- “Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.” — Kofi Annan
- “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” — Hillary Clinton
- “Reproductive freedom is not just the ability not to have a child through birth control. It’s the ability to have one if and when you want.” ― Pamela Madsen
- “Listen to the pregnant woman. Value her. She values the life growing inside her. Listen to the pregnant woman, and you cannot help but defend her right to abortion.” — Ayelet Waldman
- “Reproductive freedom is critical to a whole range of issues. If we can’t take charge of this most personal aspect of our lives, we can’t take care of anything. It should not be seen as a privilege or as a benefit, but a fundamental human right.” ― Faye Wattleton
- “It is unthinkable to allow complete strangers, whether individually or collectively as state legislators or others in government, to make such personal decisions for someone else.” ― Sarah Weddington
- “I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.” ― Roxane Gay
- No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg. —Frederica Mathewes-Green