Expand the Pro-Choice Dialogue

By Mohottige, Dinushika | The Christian Science Monitor, December 2, 2005 | Go to article overview

Expand the Pro-Choice Dialogue


Mohottige, Dinushika, The Christian Science Monitor


President Bush's Supreme Court nomination of conservative Samuel Alito has reignited discussions over whether a woman's legal right to choose an abortion is under a serious threat.

The pro-choice movement continues to face the challenges of rallying reproductive rights supporters and defining and defending the term "choice." But has it really stopped to consider how "choice" applies to the options and resources available to low- income and minority women?

The pro-choice movement has long established its cause as defending a woman's right to choose. Yet for many women, that choice is nonexistent. The cost of raising a child in the United States today is nearly $200,000. With an egregious lack of affordable healthcare, housing, and educational opportunities, many poor women of color may simply opt out of bringing a child into the world.

The numbers bear this out: Minority women are more likely to live in poverty than other women in their states and in the nation as a whole, according to 2001 US Census figures. Further, women having abortions have become increasingly likely to be poor, nonwhite, and unmarried, and already have one or more children; two-thirds say they cannot afford to have a child, half say they do not want to be a single parent, according to a 2005 Alan Guttmacher Institute report.

As a feminist of color, I am often frustrated by feminists and pro-choice activists who consistently engage in a two-sided reproductive rights dialogue void of discussions of race and class. Where are the reactions to the fact that although blacks constitute only 13 percent of the US population, they account for nearly 36 percent of abortions, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2001 figures?

It is time the national pro-choice movement - which aligns itself with women's empowerment and autonomy - widens the conversation to include and advocate the numerous issues faced by women whose daily needs and concerns remain largely neglected and marginalized.

It is easy to become engrossed in today's divisive reproductive rights jargon without realizing the fuller historic context of women of color and the American pro-choice movement.

For example, consider the opinions of Margaret Sanger, a white 1920s birth-control advocate and the founder of the American Birth Control League (later to become Planned Parenthood).

In her 1920 publication "Women and the New Race," Sanger claimed "every jail, hospital for the insane, reformatory and institution for the feebleminded cries out against the evils of too prolific breeding among wage-workers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Expand the Pro-Choice Dialogue
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.