Explore the history of sexuality.
In the 1870s feminists advanced the concept of voluntary motherhood as a political critique of involuntary motherhood and expressed a desire for women’s emancipation. Advocates for voluntary motherhood disapproved of contraception, arguing that women should only engage in sex for the purpose of procreation and advocated for periodic or permanent abstinence.
Women’s access to legal abortions is restricted by law in most countries in the world. Where abortion is permitted by law, women may only have limited access to safe abortion services. Only a small number of countries prohibit abortion in all cases. In most countries and jurisdictions, abortion is allowed to save the pregnant woman’s life, or where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. According to Human Rights Watch “Abortion is a highly emotional subject and one that excites deeply held opinions. However, equitable access to safe abortion services is first and foremost a human right. Where abortion is safe and legal, no one is forced to have one. Where abortion is illegal and unsafe, women are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term or suffer serious health consequences and even death. Approximately 13% of maternal deaths worldwide are attributable to unsafe abortion—between 68,000 and 78,000 deaths annually.” According to Human Rights Watch “the denial of a pregnant woman’s right to make an independent decision regarding abortion violates or poses a threat to a wide range of human rights.” Other groups however, such as the Catholic Church, the Christian right and most Orthodox Jews, regard abortion not as a right but as a ‘moral evil’.
1.Freedman, Lynn P.; Stephen L. Isaacs (January – February 1993). “Human Rights and Reproductive Choice”. Studies in Family Planning (Population Council)
2.Gordon, Linda (2002). The moral property of women: a history of birth control politics in America. University of Illinois Press
3.Sanger, Margaret (July 1919). “How Shall we Change the Law”.