Reproductive Politics

Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in the US but many states have passed legislation that restricts abortion to the point that it is essentially impossible for women to access, particularly women who are not wealthy. The Hyde Amendment was one of the first pieces of legislation that restricted the access to abortion Roe v Wade intended. How do you make sense of this? Who should decide whether or not abortion is available as a safe legal medical procedure.Pay close attention to information about pregnancy rates, birth rates, birth control use and birth control failure rates. Once you have more knowledge about some of these issues, consider the issue of abortion. Are there times when abortion should be legally allowed? Times when it should be legally forbidden? Should this be a private decision between a woman and her doctor? Finally, if a woman doesn’t make this decision for herself what other desicions might she lose the right to make? If the state can forbid abortion, it can also require it. Required Texts Women’s Realities, Women’s Choices: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press, NY. 2015 (WRWC in syllabus). ISBN 978-0-19-984360-2 WRWC: Chapter 9 Estelle B. Freedman, “Reproduction: The Politics of Choice,” No Turning Back (2002). Gilda Sedgh, Akinrinola Bankole, Susheela Singh and Michelle Eilers, “Legal Abortion Levels and Trends by Woman’s Age at Termination,” in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2013, 45(1):13–22, doi: 10.1363/4501313 Kimala Price, “What is Reproductive Justice?: How Women of Color Activists are Redefining the Pro-Choice Paradigm,” Meridians (2010). Guttmacher Institute “Fact Sheet: Contraceptive Use in the United States” (June 2014) Available at Center for Young Women’ Health, “Pros and Cons of Different Contraception Methods,” Available at Center for Young Women’ Health, “Success and Failure Rates of Contraceptives” Available at Corinne H. Rocca, Cynthia C. Harper and Tina R. Raine-Bennett, “Young Women’s Perceptions of the Benefits of Childbearing: Associations with Contraceptive Use and Pregnancy,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2013, 45(1):23–32, doi: 10.1363/4502313 Center for Reproductive Rights (Assorted Videos) Available at Our Bodies Ourselves, “US Abortion History” Available at

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