Toward Reproductive Sovereignty, Not Just Reproductive Rights

Women’s bodies have always been have always been the focal point of patriarchy. Liberals and conservatives alike have both worked to ensure women don’t have bodily autonomy. As a result of patriarchy, women’s knowledge of and control over their own bodies has been wrested from us. We are forced to depend on male legislators, a male-dominated medical establishment, and Big Pharma, and woman-centered knowledge and practices, like self-abortion, menstrual extraction, other alternative forms of birth control, and woman-centered birth practices, are no longer common knowledge. While feminism has fought for women’s reproductive rights — for access to things like abortion and the pill — Mary Lou Singleton says we need to look beyond rights, and towards sovereignty.

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