What are the effects of privilege?

Providing accessible birth control to all U.S. women is inhibited by class and race privilege.  In this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=K_mu8CS0aWA

Republican Tom Price showed total ignorance that under-privileged women even exist. He opposes the Obama administration’s rule that insurance must cover birth control because he does not relate to the lower class (not that he can relate directly to the need for birth control, considering he is a man). Class privilege is a barrier that keeps lower-class women from getting birth control, since upper-class men are usually the ones making decisions regarding it.

In Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rights, Angela Davis points out that white women experience white privilege when it comes to birth control. Women of color might not participate as much in the movement for accessible birth control because in the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt declared that native-born whites were not reproducing enough, so birth control and abortion should be used “as means of preventing the proliferation of the ‘lower classes’” and races (Davis 210). Historically, birth control has been negative for women of color or low class.

The privilege of white, upper-class people inhibits the accessibility of birth control.

Work Cited

Davis, Angela. “Racism, Birth Control, and Reproductive Rights.” Abortion Rights to Reproductive Freedom: Transforming a Movement. Ed. Marlene Fried. Boston: South End, 1990. 203-21. Print.


One thought on “What are the effects of privilege?

  1. Caitlin W

    I definitely agree with you that privilege is a factor in the current birth control debates. This came to mind for me with regard to the closure of the Texas abortion clinics, leaving approximately 20,000 women without the care they require. In the New York Times article that I read covering this story, the author cites attempts of Texas officials to negate the impact of the law closing the clinics by saying that most of the women affected by the closures will only be 100 miles away from a functioning clinic. I think that their sense of privilege prevents them from realizing how far 100 miles is for an under-privileged woman. One hundred miles is the distance from Philadelphia to New York, and it takes one look at the Megabus site to see how expensive bus tickets can be. The assumption by these Texas officials that every person has access to suitable methods of transportation (or can pay for gas) is a demonstration of the privilege that proliferates through the birth control and abortion rights debates today, where people in places of privilege and power are removed from the struggles of those actually impacted by their decisions.
    Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/us/supreme-court-rejects-bid-to-block-texas-abortion-law.html?hp&_r=0


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