By: Michelle Goldberg - PowerPoint and Presentation - By: Natalee Sbrana The Means of ReproductionSex, Power, and the Future of the World
New Theory “For decades now the countries of the first world have been exporting family planning to the third world, for reasons that combine humanitarianism and national security realpolitik. With the West’s help, governments worldwide concerned with over-population have tried to change the sexual and childbearing norms of their peoples. Feminists have fought, with a surprising if unheralded degree of success, to have reproductive rights recognized in international law. The United States has, depending on who is in charge, worked to bring safe abortion to poor countries, and worked with equal zeal to take it away. Imitating the organizing strategies of their opponents, fundamentalists have joined hands across national borders to stave off challenges to traditional gender hierarchies. And remarkably little of this hugely consequential story is understood by the American public, despite the country’s crucial role in shaping the fate of women all over the planet.” (pg. 5)
“Reproductive rights are the place where many of the crucial forces shaping and changing women’s lives – religious authority, globalization, patriarchal tradition, demographics, American foreign policy, international law, environmentalism, and feminism-intersect.” (pg. 11)
Theoretical Context “Americans are used to thinking of birth control and abortion as thoroughly domestic issues, but reproductive politics have been global from the start.” (pg. 40) “Debates over 3rd world family planning would…be proxy skirmishes in the American abortion wars.” (pg. 98)
What does abortion being illegal really mean? Have to have a child if raped (incest, tool of war, whatever) Have to have a child even if fetus is known to have defects that will result in its death once born Abortions punishable by law Miscarriages investigated by public officials Have to have child even if posits pregnant female’s* life in potential danger Ex.
So What? 26% of world population in this situation http://awesome.good.is/transparency/008/images/008_abortion_laws.gif Half a million women die each year from pregnancy complications – plus the “plague” of illegal abortions that fills hospital wards Induced Abortion Chart:
Conclusion Women are having abortions, whether legal or not. That means that a need exists for safe abortions, and a wish exists for terminating pregnancies.
How does this information relate to the major themes within the course? The obvious: Women are a global marginalized community, and many institutions further perpetuate their marginalization. The not-so-obvious: When differentiating between power and those not in power, it is important to understand the difference between culture and oppression.
Understanding that marginalization of community is oppressive in and of itself is key – culture should not be the excuse those in power use to participate in the continued abuse of human beings. How does one separate culture from oppression???
Human Rights! *:o) “When somepeople risk their lives to escape tradition, it’s hard to see the difference between culture and tyranny.” (Goldberg, 148) “To invoke another culture is to locate it in a time and space contemporaneous with our own, and thus to see it as a part of our world, rather than a mirror or alternative to ourselves, arising from a totally alien origin.” (Farmer, 8) Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plague By: Dr. Paul Farmer, Page 7