Government Control of the Female Body

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Government Control of the Female Body

Internationally, issues revolving around the female body and reproduction are extremely controversial. For a woman, her body is a very private matter. At the same time, however, a woman's body and her reproduction rights are the center of attention in many public debates. Several questions regarding women's reproductive rights remain unanswered. How much control do women have over their bodies? What kind of rules can be morally imposed upon women? And who controls the bodies of women? Although the public continues to debate these topics, certain conclusions can been made concerning women and their reproductive rights. An undeniable fact is that government has a large degree of control over female reproductive organs. All around the world, time and time again, several national governments have implemented policies, enacted laws, and denied women control over their reproductive organs. Several governments have crossed the border between intimate and public matters concerning women's reproductive organs, by making laws about contraceptives, abortion, and family planning programs.

Perhaps the most discrete manner in which government intervenes in women's reproductive rights is through family planning. Several governments have spent billions of dollars annually to implement family planning programs. Family planning includes sex, contraceptive, and parenting education. Although many family planning programs are viewed as a method of education, some governments have used the programs as a means of controlling the bodies of women and their nation's population.

In Indonesia, for instance, The Agency for International Development (AID) reported that the Indonesian family planning program d...

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...ns and the ethical and moral beliefs behind the issue will again challenge the control of many governments in their role in human reproduction.

Work Cited

Abenethy, Virginia. "Abortion." The World Book Encyclopaedia. 1996 ed.

Emmens, Carol. The Abortion Controversy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987.

Hartmann, Betsy. Reproductive Rights and Wrongs. New York: Harper & Row Publications, 1987.

Hogue, Carol. "Birth Control." Groiler Multimedia Encyclopaedia CD-ROM. Groiler Interactive. 1997.

Lader, Lawrence. RU486: The Pill That Could End the Abortion Wars. New York: Addison-Wesley Inc., 1991.

Lew, Patrick. Personal Interview. 10 April. 1998

Lovenduski, Joni and Outshoorn, Joyce. The New Politics of Abortion. London: Sage Publications, 1986.

Tyrer, Louise B. "Abortion." Groiler Multimedia Encyclopaedia. CD-ROM Groiler Interactive. 1997.

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