As part of this unit, we have studied the role health – and particularly reproductive health – plays in issues of gender & society. Many times, such as in Angela Davis’s work on race inequality in reproductive health and the film “The Business of Being Born”, we have questioned influences that affect an individual’s reproductive rights.
However, as is typical for me in this class, I question whether anyone has the right to influence another’s decision. This question is especially important when thinking of reproductive health. It is obviously wrong to endanger your child, but is an elective C-section to be looked down on any more or less than a home birth? Why is it so difficult for society to present the options to an individual concerning reproductive rights and then let the individual make a personal decision?
As with many topics in gender and society, it is obvious that a cultural shift must come first, no matter how difficult its implementation will be.
Angela Davis, “Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rights” (1981)