Reproductive Rights of Couples and Individuals


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Reproductive rights are rights for couples or individuals that dictate when and if they can have children as well as be able to access information and services about reproductive health granted by the rights. Most commonly talked about when discussing reproductive rights other than safe, legal abortions, the rights also come with opportunities such as birth control, sex education and outreach, access to fertility resources, and freedom from forced or coerced pregnancy, abortion, and sterilization. Authorities like the government have tried to adjust social dynamics in communities by advocating or restricting population growth. Administrations have passed policies that encourage growth; called natalism. Nicolae Ceausescu a Romanian dictator prohibited sex education, birth control, and abortion as well as forcing fines on women who did not have children, women who miscarried, to raise the country’s population. This was part of his controversial Decree 770 passed in 1966. In distinction to natalism, administrations run by the government may violate upon reproductive rights by mandating family planning policies, seen in 1979 to 2015 when the Chinese Communist Party forced a one-child policy that financially punished couples who had upcoming children after the first. The united states government has yet to adopt an official policy in which compels its citizens to give birth to more children, the government provides tax incentives and social services to aid parents and their children. There has been a significant impact on determining reproductive rights as the state and federal laws restrict access to reproductive health services, including comprehensive sexual education classes and family planning options such as birth control and abortion.

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Advocates for reproductive rights have attempted to declare these rights through legislation, litigation, and public outreach. The advocates have faced significant dismiss from organizations that oppose family planning, particularly pregnancy termination and contraceptive use primarily due to religious protest in disapproval. Similar to reproductive rights advocates, the organizations have used both the law and public opinion to promote their perspectives. Individuals and groups that support full reproductive rights identify as pro-choice, in contrast individuals and groups that oppose abortion identify themselves as pro-life. The US Supreme Court ruled in Roe vs Wade in 1973 that the Fourteenth Amendment protects a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, public opinion carry on divided. In 2018 a Gallup poll found that 50 percent of US adults agree that abortion should be legal only in certain conditions, 29 percent acknowledge it should be legal regardless of conditions, and 18 percent disagree under any circumstances and that it should be prohibited. State legislatures have challenged basic guarantees of reproductive rights by pursuing to demand restrictions on providers of reproductive services and to assign exceptions to religious employers and organizations. In previous successful efforts, supporters of reproductive rights remain concerned that conservative legislatures and courts will work in destruction of those rights. President Donald Trump has elected to limit reproductive rights, as evidence through his denial of US funds to global health agencies that administer information about abortion and his appointment of pro-life judges to the federal court system. His actions have influenced pro-choice individuals to protest his policies, nominations, and appointments.

State legislatures established restrictions on the use of contraceptives in the 1840’s at the same time of the first use of rubber as a material to make condoms. The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the second Circuit administered that federal law could not impede with a physician’s legitimate work, acknowledging the validity of doctors prescribing contraceptives to patients for medical aid. The American Medical Association in 1936 identified birth control as necessary component of reproductive health and highly encouraged further research in contraceptives and how to successfully educate physician’s and their patients on their safe and effective use. Plenty of states in the US have maintained restrictions on contraceptive use and dispense. Condoms, cervical caps, and diaphragms continued to be the most frequent birth control methods for many years.

In 1873: congress passed the Comstock Act, in which prohibits the use of the US postal service to distribute obscene materials, including birth control devices and family planning information. Margaret Sanger, full time nurse and fighting social activist, engaged the attention of authorities in the early twentieth century for breaching the Comstock laws by promoting sex education and family planning. Sanger is popularly remembered for her role in promoting the use of birth control in essays, public lectures, the importation of European birth control devices, and the establishment of birth control clinics throughout the United States and other countries as well. In the 1950’s Sanger secured funding for the nonprofit organization Planned Parenthood, where scientist developed Enovid, the first proven oral contraceptive. In 1957 the US Food and Drug Administration approved the birth control pill for regulating menstrual cycles and in 1960 as a contraceptive method.

Although the FDA passed a bill for the pill to be used as a contraceptive, Massachusetts and Connecticut had remained in disapproval of the idea of contraceptive, making it illegal. Estelle Griswold and Dr. C. Lee Buxton were two activists that owned clinics that supplied birth control and issue reproductive health services for married couples breaking Connecticut law. In 1961, authorities detained both Griswold and Buxton as they were found guilty for administering the illegal contraception’s. The Supreme court allowed Griswold to argue his behalf through Griswold v. Connecticut 1965 that against the fourteenth amendment violated by the states, banning married couples from accessing contraceptives. Eisenstadt v Baird 1972 was a case that followed the Griswold v Connecticut which argued for their reproductive rights whereas the supreme court said state bans on contraceptives is an invasion of privacy especially towards unmarried people. In 2010 the law makers of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obama care) compromised within the law a mandate that health insurance objectives afford the entire price of eighteen types of approved by FDA birth control methods from oral contraceptives to other choices as well as IUDS. Big companies such as Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services that of which were privately owned retail chain objecting the mandate due to religious reasons.

In 1973 the supreme court agreed that under Roe v Wade had civilians under the fourteenth amendment had full access to abortions as a constitutional right. Alongside this, anti-abortion activists and some legislator leaders had access and would seek to pass laws and policies to create obstacles to receive the agenda.

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