Can men stop dominating the female narrative? – Liberal Article

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Can men stop dominating the female narrative? – Liberal Article

Earlier this month the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Trump administration’s continued hollowing out of Obamacare. Obamacare marked a significant step in the insurance of human rights,  enabling around 20 million extra people to access fundamental health care.  A policy necessary for any hope of the American dream. 

The win for the Trump administration expanded employers’ ability to restrict the provision of birth control. Access to reproductive rights for women is now in the hands of employers who can opt-out by simply claiming to have a moral or religious objection to contraception. 

In other words an estimated 70,500 to 126,400 women losing their right to choose when and if to become mothers. This is unless they have an extra $584 spare a year to cover birth control, which is not the case for 63% of Americans 

The weakening of the contraceptive mandate will harm women economically, socially, and personally. Women’s access to contraception led to a 20% increase in college enrollment, a 30% increase in women in skilled careers, and a fall of 51% in teenage pregnancies.   Access to birth control allows women to enhance their human capital, leading to an increase in female participation in the workforce and consequently decreasing economic and political inequalities between sexes. 

Furthermore, the wider health implications are extensive and expensive. Anemia, migraines, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer are just some conditions contraception aids and each comes with their individual weighty health care bills. 

 That being said no further justification should be needed in regards to access to birth control when the risk is forced parenthood on women unable or not wishing to raise children.  Particularly considering the fact Americans have the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. 

The Trump administrations win was a win for the continuation of sexual violence on women in America. Lack of access to reproductive rights directly hinders the realisation of human rights in a nation founded on the notion of equal rights. 

This decision will not just impact gender inequalities but will also disproportionately affect black women. No feminist should accept this.

Furthermore, the consequences of these women’s issues are not restricted to women. A longitudinal study found children conceived in an environment with financial access to contraception were 2-7% more likely to get at least 16 years of education.  The next generations of welfare depend on how we treat potential future mothers now. Anyone in support of social justice should also not accept decisions like this.  

The Supreme court ruling is also undefendable in economic terms. Unintended pregnancies cost the state 7 times more than necessary investment in family planning programs.  Even someone with an economy over health mindset should not support this decision. 

This 7-2 Supreme Court case, on a body with six men, is just one example of a larger trend. Simply put, women’s issues, those faced by those with female biology, being determined primarily by men who don’t even know how a tampon works.  

In 2017 a boardroom full of only men discussed the terms of maternity rights under Obamacare.  Oddly enough with none of them needing maternity rights, they felt it best to restrict them in favour of free-market choices.  Similarly, men have dominated the bodies making decisions on abortions, shaping the hostile discourse, and criminalising what a woman can and can not do in regards to her own body. 

Women are not baby vessels and not every woman is a mother.  

It is too easy in a political climate dominated by the male perspective to chain women to their biology. This reinforcing cycle works to maintain and enhance male dominance.

Rights for women have been fought and won by women, never given. 

Whilst such as restriction on contraceptive rights does not directly appear as an abuse of power, the practical and existential consequences of such are detrimental to women’s ability to be equal.  

Had it been a body of women deciding whether contraception should be covered I think the outcome would have been different. Why would women want the state or private companies to restrict their personal autonomy?  

Conditions over your own uterus should not be up for religion beyond your own belief or political debate.

Written by Guest Liberal Writer, Abby Milnes

Point of Information

Controlling the female body = controlling the female narrative –  A Labour Response

I could not agree with this article more. We are witnessing an unforgivable deterioration of
America; a regression back to a time where women were not valued beyond their genitals.
Callously stripping women of their reproductive rights is not only a slap in the face to those
who originally fought so hard for them, it mandates a penalty for having a uterus.

Alabama’s restrictive abortion legislation has effectively banned all abortion (even in cases
of rape and incest!), except when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s health. Instated
last year, this new law promises to punish doctors more harshly than rapists. Likewise,
Arkansas now requires a rapist’s consent for abortion, giving them parental rights. Imagine
being told that your violator has an equal claim to your womb.

The hypocrisy of the male-only boards is that these are the same men who force their
mistresses to get rid of their babies. For example, pro-lifer, Rep. Tim Murphy was forced to
resign after it came out that he’d heavily pressured his mistress into aborting. This, of
course, was only months after previous RNC deputy finance chairman, Elliott Broidy, paid
$1.6 million to the Playboy Playmate who aborted his child.

Women denied abortions experience more pregnancy-related health complications,
domestic violence, greater poverty and reduces her ability to achieve aspiration life goals in
the next year. Banning abortion affects women in every aspect of their lives.

Ultimately, giving a rapist or an employer dominion over a woman’s reproductive rights and
healthcare choices not only removes her sovereignty over her own body but also dictates
her future path. As Abby said, birth control has the power to encourage and enable
women’s education, careers, sex life, and family planning.

Thus, to control a woman’s reproductive system is to control the female narrative.

Written by Guest Labour Writer, Abi Smuts

We cannot risk women and their rights being rolled back, even by an inch – A Conservative response.

My colleague presents a powerful and momentous argument, one considered from all angles from socially to economically. And, quite frankly, I couldn’t agree with her more.

Steps like these don’t just inhibit women’s reproductive rights but symbolise a regression in their overall rights and autonomy. Why should a female – as the single party at the centre of this debate – be unable to control her own body?

It’s important to highlight that it’s not that these ‘rights-to-control’ fail to exist. They exist but are not given to her. Instead, they are being stripped from the woman and placed into the hands of her employer, too often a male figure.

The maxim, ‘Children by choice, not by chance’ must be prioritised when it comes to child-bearing. Women are not simply baby-makers but are instead rational autonomous beings that must be given credit for such. It’s shocking that in 2020 these sexist norms are still apparent.

The only way I can envisage an acceptable policy for restricting contraceptive medication would be if scientific research deemed the side effects too dangerous to warrant its initial benefits. However, even policies such as these should NOT be restrictive to woman’s rights. They should instead accompany and compliment them, not inhibit. Other forms of contraception, ones proved to be effective but safe such as the implant, IUDs or the injection should instead be brought forward to the frontline at this time.

Any decision that furthers gender inequalities should be challenged, especially one with extreme ramifications as with access to contraception. As Abby says, “rights for women have been fought and won by women, never given.” It is imperative that we carry on persistently fighting so that steps backward seem impossible, for we cannot lose the little power that we have struggled for so long to gain.

Written by Junior Conservative Writer, Emily Taylor.

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Abi Smuts
Guest Labour Writer
Emily Taylor
Junior Conservative writer | Website

I am a first year student reading Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter. After completing my degree, I wish to go on to study Public Policy at a postgraduate level.

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