ERIC Number: ED355170
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reproductive Rights: A Political, Professional, and Personal Issue.
Business and Professional Women's Foundation, Washington, DC.
Reproductive rights are essential to a woman's full participation in the workplace. Procreative decisions are private ones, and once the door is open to government restrictions it will be hard to close. Prior to 1850, abortion was legal in most states. Not until the professionalization of the medical field did physicians and others seek to restrict access to abortion. The church came to oppose abortion on moral grounds, while some sought to limit the practice as a means of battling the emancipation of women. During the 20th century a patchwork of abortion regulations and restrictions arose. Not until the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was it clear that women had the legal right to seek abortions. More recent decisions, along with congressional and state legislative initiatives, have clarified the scope of the right. Birth control has long been controversial in the United States, but laws making it illegal were invalidated long ago. More recently, laws purporting to protect pregnant workers have also been struck down as discriminatory. Women can never hope to be free to exercise all of their choices and achieve equal opportunity until they win the right to control their own bodies. (LBG)
Descriptors: Abortions, Civil Liberties, Contraception, Court Litigation, Females, Feminism, Legislation, Personal Autonomy
Business and Professional Women's Foundation, 2012 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Business and Professional Women's Foundation, Washington, DC.