Reproductive and Human Rights <ul><li>Philip Giarratana </li></ul>
History <ul><li>Beginning as far back as 1000 AD, the Egyptians used linen sheaths ( www.avert.org/condoms ) to prevent pregnancy resulting from sexual encounters. In the 1500’s, the linen condom rendered protection against syphilis, only later being recognized to prevent pregnancy. </li></ul>
History, cont. Abortion, another form of family planning, has a long history in the United States, and an even longer one world wide. According to www.prochoice.org , the harkening illegality of abortion in the U.S.A was due to xenophobia, with the Anglo-Saxon population fearing that they would be outnumbered by the incoming immigrants.
<ul><li>According to www.prochoice.org , the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade was a victory for women’s rights and family planning, but left a large hole in the definition of how an abortion could be funded, leading to a struggle to prevent federal funding of abortions. </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to plannedparenthood.com, “If you are under 18, your state may require one or both of your parents to give permission for your abortion or be told of your decision prior to the abortion. However, in most states you can ask a judge to excuse you from these requirements. Learn more about parental consent for abortion .”(plannedparenthood.com). This presents a unique part in history in which parental consent is at once required, and at another instance not required for a woman to have an abortion. </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to trustwomenpac.com, a reproductive health and women’s rights resource: “ Poverty, geography, religion, politics all play a dominant role in determining who can and cannot get birth control, maternal health care and abortion services in the United States. Maternal care and abortion rights are intertwined–more than 60% of women who have abortions are already mothers. Despite this, a woman’s human rights–her right to make medical decisions, right to religious freedom, right to personal dignity are all increasingly taking a back seat to efforts to re-criminalize abortion. It’s harder to end a pregnancy than it was 20 years ago due to the barriers women must overcome and the fact that reproductive health clinics continue to close. In states across the U.S., especially the Midwest and South, where women are earning less and less, the cost of an abortion is often out of reach. Add hours of travel, unpaid time off from work, childcare, and the obstacles to getting an abortion become significant. These same obstacles keep many women from getting the prenatal and postnatal care they deserve.These states are also home to some of the most restrictive and punitive laws curtailing women’s access to reproductive health care, and also claim some of the highest teen pregnancy and child poverty rates in the country. The Washington Post recently reported a rise in teen pregnancy rates, despite the $1.5 billion spent on abstinence-only programs over the past decade. </li></ul>
<ul><li>What level and type of birth control should be available to women? </li></ul><ul><li>Should federal funding be used to fund family planning and birth control programs? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there viable alternatives to any current birth control methods? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is birth control most needed, and how should the global community act on those needs? </li></ul>Thinking Questions