Recently in e. feb 28 Category

DE- Feb 28

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Based on the articles "What's Love Got to do With It" and "A New Vision for [...] Reproductive Rights," it is very clear the ways in which women are already disadvantaged in relation to reproductive justice, and the fact that further legislation is attempting to make things even more complicated is devastating. Just looking at the ways in which health care and abortion are trying to be changed and demonized is heartbreaking, to the point where pregnant women who are dying can potentially be denied abortion that would save their life, ergo being denied proper health care, is completely unreal to me.

I feel as though of the most important things that both the Crunk Feminist Collective and the ACRJ focus on is the way in which poor women and women of color are really the ones that are being targeted in all of these bills and amendments. Although the CFC focuses more so on African American women, and the ACRJ specifically on Asian women, their sentiments are the same. Women must be able to receive proper access to reproductive health services (reproductive health care providers), reproductive rights (legal protection to health services), and reproductive justice (woman's control of her own body, sexuality, and reproduction). I find myself confused that there are so many women who are denied all of the above, and yet there are those advocating for these women to lose out on the opportunity to ever have access to it, and also taking it away from those fortunate enough to have such access. It seems as though many politicians are so focused on getting rid of abortion that they are willing to risk all services that assist women and families in being safe and healthy, many services that have nothing to do with abortion in any way.

DE # 2

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Reproductive rights are at the forefront of current issues today. I am really glad to be taking this class currently and having access to such articles because they really open my eyes to the injustices occurring. Feminists have a lot at stake currently, but not just them, every woman has a lot at stake. The Crunk Feminist Collective article gives excerpts of bills that are trying to be passed currently in our government. Reading through them I was just stunned at what they are proposing. These people who are supposedly against abortion are referred to as being pro-life, as in the favor of life. It seems very contradictory that they would refuse a dying woman an abortion, because then they would ultimately lose two lives. I just can't seem to understand their thought process through all of this. Women's freedom and everything that goes along that is at stake. Taking away our choices and voices and trying to oppress women. I do not think it is fair that most of these decisions are being made by men who will never have an abortion, or even get pregnant. It is just very unjust and contradictory. Nobody should be able to make those types of decisions for women, women should be able to decide. The billboard that was recently put up in Soho also really angered me, how blatantly racists and oppressive it is! Throwing those types of statements around in such public places and putting those things in the media gives many people the wrong idea. These sort of things can have profound effects on people who don't know much about feminism and reproductive rights and choices. It just really bothers me that such things can be thrown around in the media so easily.


Both articles suggest that they way feminists and women should respond is by being active and showing these people in our government and in the media that the voices and choices of women cannot be taken away or limited. The ACRJ articles says that, "reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls, and will be achieved when women and girls have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction for ourselves, our families and our communities in all areas of our lives." I really like this quote and very much agree with it. A government is supposed to be there for its people and not try to oppress them.

DE

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In the Crunk Feminist Collective reading, the government is attacked poor women, women of color and reproductive rights. It looks like they have more rules and most of them are against the women. The women have freedom to do abortion or not, but in the other side the doctors and hospitals would allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform any abortion, even one that was needed to save the life of a pregnant woman. They don't care about the health of the women. That means women tries to fight to help our self, but the government will take away much of the federal funding for any type of abortion care and all funding for Planned Parenthood, specially poor women who needs more money than the other classes.
In the reading Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ) New Vision for Reproductive Justice, there is three categories: Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Justice, and Reproductive Health. These terms describe three different sides to protect the women. As ACRJ states "reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls, and will be achieved when women and girls have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction for ourselves, our families and our communities in all areas of our lives." (page 1). She explained that women should stand up for their rights, give women a choice and the power to fight for what they want.

Direct Engagement #2

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I think that the feminist movement has a lot at stake in terms of the womens reproductive rights. I hesitate in using the word "rights" after reproductive because after reading the ACRJs New Vision for Reproductive Justice, it seems like there is three categories to show the whole struggle. Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Justice, and Reproductive Health these terms describe three different sides to one subject and I think it is very helpful for the cause to differenciate between them so that a proper case that is seen from every light can be withheld.

I think that the government is somehow playing a role with society to show womens reproductive rights as bad thing. It seems like more bills are being passed to prevent women from having freedom of their bodies and the decisions they make in life regarding reproduction. Especially with the Pitts Bill that "would allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform any abortion, even one that was needed to save the life of a pregnant woman." This bill makes women inferior to doctors, who are mostly all Christian men. This bill also gives a major factor of a womans life to another human being, who does not know the womans circumstances as well as she does, which just seems like a negative thing. As more bills like this are being created, the feminist movement needs to find out efficient ways to battle them so that women can truly have freedom over themselves.

DE: Reproductive Justice, Health and Rights

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Honestly, this issue of reproductive justice, health and rights is really overwhelming. The attack of capitalism is frustrating and hurtful. However, the beginning of the reproductive justice movement began as a result to end all forms of oppression in relation to women. The Crunk feminist collective was able to provide a framework of how the legislature, state and the message of cultural war are forming a rage to end the reproductive power of women. She explained how they have decided to limit women's access to health care by setting a reform. She also classified the ongoing attack on women a matter of race and class-based attack on women of color.
Also, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ) was able to provide strategies on how to protect the reproductive rights of women. Although the situation at hand seems overwhelming, if we take a deep thought in this, we will understand that there many things at stake. According to ACRJ, "controlling women controls her life, potential and the entire communities". This implies that if we allow the reproductive rights of women to be overruled, then the world will return to its former state of slavery. We would again be women with no reproductive powers and sexual rights. The right to choose will be taken away from us. This means that lack of health care, accurate health data and lack of information will eventually lead us to lack of political rights.
In ACRJ paper "A New Vision for Reproductive Justice", she was also able to provide feminist with strategies on how to protect our legal rights to reproductive health care services. She explained that women should stand up for their rights. She urged us to participate actively in the political process and vote for political representations. She further explained that supporting the women leadership or campaigns that fight women's oppression should be every woman's goal. She also explained that we should build networks, awareness, and set up research to end this oppression.
Finally, I believe that women we are powerful when we are united. So, if we can all stay as a community we can end this oppression.

DE #2

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Currently feminists are confronted with the issue of choice and variety of options being reduced and limited significantly. This is being done through debates, legislation and bills on the table regarding reproductive rights, justice and health. Eliminating federal funding to Planned Parenthood, bills limiting the option of abortions to women and limiting or eliminating health care coverage for the procedure are all topics being discussed. By taking away options to one's reproductive health it can come down to following the law and doing what is right for one's health. Feminists argue that with the passing of these new regulations, laws and cuts in funding not only will it affect the individual woman but also children's, families' and communities' well-being. As argued in the readings, there are many situations in which this "murder" is actually saving and the act of responsibility. By leaving only one possibility and then stating it is a choice an individual has to make you are leaving no options. In addition, with these restrictions individual bodies and reproduction is being controlled by unconnected powers, disregarding individual and communities physical and emotional health and well-being. As ACRJ states "reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls, and will be achieved when women and girls have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction for ourselves, our families and our communities in all areas of our lives." (page 1)

Direct Engagement - Feb 28

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Currently, the feminist movement is in danger of losing reproductive rights that have already been won, such as abortion and health services. Many bills are popping up nation-wide which, if passed, will seriously inhibit women's power over their own bodies. While these legislative acts affect all women in the United States, they especially target the poor and women of color. (For example, the Smith Bill would prohibit government from providing financial support for abortions, which would primarily impact low-income women.) If these laws go through, we face returning to the dreaded days of wire hangers and crochet hooks. While upper-class women might find creative avenues to access reasonably safe abortions, perhaps through a trusted family physician or international travel, poor women will absolutely experience the full brunt of this onslaught against female bodies. Arguably, the biggest threat to the feminist movement is not merely the loss of reproductive rights, but the mistreatment and institutional reproductive discrimination against women of color, immigrants, queer and transgender women, and the poor. ACRJ quite astutely demands that the feminist movement place priority on reproductive justice, as opposed to reproductive rights or health, because the latter are extremely limited in terms of providing a framework for long-term change and do not factor in the question of access or relative agency. Most marginalized women are struggling with multiple systems of oppression based on race, class, sexuality, ability, age and immigration status. Reproductive justice addresses these questions of intersectionality and fundamentally links feminism with social justice and human rights in general. ACRJ suggests that one of the most important strategies is to educate women and girls about their bodies and communities in order to foster political agency.

DE- Seeking Reproductive Justice

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To be honest, I'm still a little bewildered by the title of the Crunk Feminist Collective's post, "What's Love Got to Do With it?". Everything, the beginning of the article says, yet it is never fully explored in the rest of the post. I am left to speculate that, considering the paragraphs pondering the possible future of back-alley abortions and the blatantly racist abortion billboard in Soho, that the Crunk Feminist Collective is referring to the necessity of people being able to love others, and their ability to show that love through compassionate actions and mutual respect.

In terms of framing, the Crunk Feminist Collective focuses more on the problems currently facing feminists in America (in this case, the bills to restrict abortion and other family planning services). The author writes of a "3-pronged attack against reproductive justice", the prongs being national legislation (Congress), state legislation, and finally what the author calls the "culture war, aka an attack on poor women and women of color". The author maintains that billboards like the one in Soho ("the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb") are put there for the purpose of targeting poor women.

Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice offer three frameworks that must all be utilized in order to end "reproductive oppression": Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, and Reproductive Justice. These frameworks represent three overall needs for women, especially poor women and women of color: access to affordable reproductive and overall health services, laws protecting whatever decisions women choose to make with their bodies, and the end of women being exploited and oppressed by not having control of their own bodies.

This is a big theme in both of these articles: women need freedom to choose their own reproductive journey, but merely having these abortion and birth control services available now is not enough. Abortion and family planning laws (Reproductive Rights) are being attacked all over the country, and poor women and women of color are facing additional obstacles, such as the offensive billboard in Soho and what it represents about the state of inherent racism and bias in America.

The messages of Crunk and ACRJ are similar in terms of what feminists can do about ending reproductive oppression. Crunk advocates loving and standing up for each other, while ACRJ's main instrument of change is educating future leaders, "those who are directly impacted by reproductive oppression". While there is emphasis in both articles on the government making change (or, rather, preventing it), a large responsibility for change falls to women themselves.

DE: Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice

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First of all, I think it's important to note how very straightforward these readings were. They stated facts as they are without much emotional input which I always appreciate when reading something in which I am trying to extract information.

With that being mentioned I feel the need to also express how very removed I have been from the current issues lately. This has been quite a lot to digest in one sitting.

Now moving onto the assignment part of this...

What's at stake for with this issue for feminists currently?

I think that what's at stake is autonomy. It's really quite as simple as that. In the Crunk Feminist Collective reading, each of the bills that the authors outline are taking away some choice. There's the obvious debate about abortion but what about the woman's life? The Pitts Bill states that a doctor would have the choice to deny an abortion even at the cost of the life of the mother. I wonder, is this what pro-life advocates had in mind? In the Pence Amendment, what we find is the loss of the choice to have decent personal health. If the funding for Planned Parenthood is cut or denied, it effects abortion, yes, but moreover it effects the health of mothers or mothers to be. In the ACRJ "New Vision for Reproductive Justice" reading there is this quote: "Reproduction encompasses both the biological and social processes related to conception, birth, nurturing and raising of children as participants in society. Social reproduction is the reproduction of society, which includes the reproduction of roles such as race, class, gender roles, etc." This brings up this idea of the broader influence of reproductive rights as well. The umbrella term "reproductive rights" then stands for not only the direct processes related to childbearing but also social terms of human rights. In this way, taking away or limiting reproductive rights also limits our basic human rights.

So... What are some responses and strategies feminists are proposing?

I don't think that the Crunk Feminist Collective reading actually gave too much in the way of strategies. The final quote of the article by by Leila Husseini and Anu Kumar mentions in the last line, "When abortion is inaccessible either legally, financially or physically, women are more likely to turn to the back alley." I absolutely agree with this prediction. It happened in the past and I don't see why it wouldn't happen in the future. We live in a world where people are willing to buy skeptical Botox off the internet, home abortion doesn't seem out of the question. This leads to wonder what legislation thinks of this, perhaps this is another issue of don't ask don't tell? The ACRJ says that reproduction justice will be achieved when females not only have the right to make their own reproductive decisions but also economic, social, and political power. I think their overall message is that women to be active agents in this process.

DE Question for feb 28

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For your DE this week GROUP A should do the following:

Carefully read: 

Drawing upon these 2 readings, how are some feminists framing their conversations about reproductive rights, reproductive health and reproductive justice? Use the readings to describe:

  1. What's at stake with this issue for feminists currently
  2. What are some responses and strategies feminists are offering
GROUPS B and C should comment by Monday at noon.