My Body, Whose Choice?

Whether Roe survives this Supreme Court, the power to protect reproductive rights and enact reproductive justice currently rests with Congress.

8/4/2021 4:22:00 AM

It’s time to move past “my body, my choice.” We urgently need health care policy that not only protects reproductive choice but enacts reproductive care.

Whether Roe survives this Supreme Court, the power to protect reproductive rights and enact reproductive justice currently rests with Congress.

At the federal level, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal spending on abortion services for the past 40 years. For millions of people covered by Medicaid, the vast majority of whom are people of color and LGBTQ, health insurance does not cover abortion.

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Anti-choice critics argue that abortion care should not be covered like any other medical cost, and restrictions are necessary given disagreement about the ethics of abortion. For others who face the same decision about whether to continue a pregnancy, their moral views may lead them to a different decision.

As a bioethicist, I frequently encounter different opinions about the morality of a variety of medical interventions. Yet we do not deny health coverage to individuals simply because there are ethical disagreements about the permissibility of things like chemotherapy, blood transfusion or organ donation. headtopics.com

Fellow pro-choice advocates might worry that by questioning “my body, my choice” and a core tenant of reproductive rights activism, I am undermining the entire movement. Claiming self-ownership is a powerful and important step in asserting the rights of women and people of color, who were historically excluded from ownership—or owned—and whose reproductive rights have been consistently denied. 

It’s time to move past “my body, my choice.” We urgently need health care policy that not only protects reproductive choice but enacts reproductive care. WhetherRoesurvives this Supreme Court, the power to protect reproductive rights and enact reproductive justice currently rests with Congress.

Read more: Ms. Magazine »

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