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This Is Not Your Mother’s Reproductive Rights Movement

The pro-choice movement in the United States is at a critical crossroads. A new reproductive justice movement is emerging from the hardships endured by women in this country, one that will challenge the heated, sometimes violent suppression of women’s dignity and human rights. This year, more legislation to limit women’s access to abortion and to legally separate fetuses from the pregnant women who sustain them was introduced in state legislatures than ever before – over 350 bills. Less commonly known is the fact that these laws also undermine the rights and health of pregnant women who wish to continue their pregnancies. According to Amnesty International, the United States spends more than any other country on health care, yet women here have a higher risk of dying due to pregnancy-related complications than women in 40 other countries. 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., ...
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