Tema 8 (2016)Apunte Inglés
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THE RIGHT OVER ONE’S OWN BODY
- Intersex children reassignment surgery
o new legislation in Germany
- Male circumcision?
o Iceland’s Children Ombudsman
o UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: “Children should have the right to express their own views
and be protected from traditional rituals which may be harmful to their health.”
- Female genital mutilation a crime under Spanish law
“MY BODY, MY CHOICE”
- recreational drug usage
- pregnant women’s drug-use
- surrogate pregnancy
- assisted suicide
- voluntary gender reassignment surgery, etc.
ABORTION & A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE - Slogans of the 1970s women’s movement - Political demands for reproductive rights - Framed within discourse of modern individualism THE RIGHT TO OWN ONE’S BODY - Rests on new concept of ‘the self’ in 18th century Europe - ‘Possessive Individualism’ (Macpherson, 1962) o Separates self from body, where self becomes owner o Owner has sole rights over body o Imagined subject is male o Commodification of labour replaces feudalism o PI role in capitalism and unequal property relations Example and Limits ‘To be free is to be an individual - in the first instance, an owner of one's own person and capacities, but also what one acquires through the use of one's capacities. To be free is to be an owner. Freedom is defined in terms of independence from others, and one is independent only when one has the right to use one's property, including one's abilities, as one chooses.’ Carens, Joseph (ed.) (1993) Democracy and Possessive Individualism: The Intellectual Legacy of C.B.
Macpherson, Albany, New York: State University of New York, p. 2 REPRODUCTION AND BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE Biological difference results in competing claims for control over women’s reproductive bodies, between a woman herself and society/other stakeholders in reproduction Ex: Women and War (Elshtain, 1987): women should be excluded from combat roles because: ‘The bodies of young females are not expendable: they are what re-creates and holds forth the promise of a future’.
POLITICAL RELEVANCE At the national level birth rates determine labour force, tax-payers, military power, cultural reproduction Falling birth rates means fewer tax-payers and threatens the capacity of the welfare state to pay living pensions PRO & ANTI-NATALISM DISCOURSES Pro-natalism: - Banning abortion - Unavailability of contraception - Financial incentives - Time incentives - Service incentives - Propaganda Anti-natalism: - State attempts to limit number of children - Contraception and abortion services available - May be coercive eg. China’s one- child policy EVOLUTION OF ABORTION LAWS In general, countries worldwide are liberalizing their abortion laws: Between 1950 and 1985, nearly all industrialized countries-and several others-liberalized their abortion laws: - In 1994, 179 governments signed the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, signaling their commitment to prevent unsafe abortion.
- Since then, more than 25 countries worldwide have liberalized their abortion laws-while a handful have tightened legal restrictions on abortion.
Countries in the Global North and north Asia generally have the most liberal abortion laws: - These countries generally permit abortion either without restriction as to reason or on broad grounds, such as for socioeconomic reasons.
- However, some countries in these regions, including Poland, Malta, Ireland, and the Republic of Korea, maintain restrictive abortion laws - Also in USA criminalization of pregnant women under several charges In contrast, countries in the Global South have generally had restrictive abortion laws: - Most countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and southern Asia have severe abortion laws - Some countries have modified their legislation to prohibit abortion altogether - Chile, El Salvador, and Nicaragua HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH - right to life - right to health - right to liberty and security of the person - right to privacy - right to equality and non-discrimination - right to information - freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - enjoyment of the benefits of scientific progress - Unsafe abortion and maternal mortality"women all over the world are highly likely to have an induced abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy - irrespective of legal conditions.” (WHO, 2011) - Restrictive abortion laws, particularly those that prohibit and criminalize abortion in all circumstances, leads women to obtain illegal and unsafe abortions (CEDAW, CDC) - Restrictive abortion laws as a violation of the rights to life and health (CEDAW, CDC, HRC) - The requirement of parental consent for abortion leads to increased numbers of illegal abortions among adolescents (CRC) - Women’s right to privacy: in cases where a legal duty is imposed upon doctors to report women who have undergone abortion (HRC) - - Torture: extracting confessions for prosecutorial purposes from women seeking emergency medical care as a result of illegal abortions (statements obtained by coercion) (CAT) Racial disparities in reproductive health: certain ethnic/racial groups are disproportionately affected by maternal mortality as a result of lack of access to reproductive health-care and family planning services (CERD) WHO ARE THE PROSECUTED WOMEN? In countries (ex. Namibia) where legal abortion requires many procedural prerequisites –ex.
approval from multiple physicians- abortion results, in fact, only available to wealthy and educated women, while poor and rural women have to resort to unauthorized procedures.