Today, September 26th, is World Contraception Day. And here at TFW, we invite you to consider what contraception has meant and may still mean to your own life (especially if you have sex with men), as well as to the lives of girls and women throughout the world.
Recognizing this day is especially significant given the relentless attacks on women’s reproductive health in the United States and erosion of women’s health care elsewhere. As many feminist scholars have shown, women’s bodies are the focal point of conservative activism and policy precisely because reproduction is linked to broader social processes, such as colonization, nation building, empire, and white supremacy. Reproduction, rather than being “merely” an embodied process, is deeply social and reflects inequities of gender, race, class, citizenship, age, and geography.
Here’s what we know: women have long attempted to control their fertility through contraceptive technologies, both “primitive” and high-tech. And controlling when to have a child—or more importantly, when not to become pregnant—has been fundamental to securing women’s health, wellbeing, economic security, and autonomy. Contraception is targeted by conservatives not because they are particularly enamored of children (although they do love embryos), but because they abhor a changing world in which women continue to make gains.
Barefoot and pregnant, indeed.
How many girls have finished school because of contraception?
How many women have secured jobs because of contraception?
How many maternal deaths have been prevented because of contraception?
How many girls and women have not had to secure abortions because of contraception?
How many women have contributed to society—as lawyer, activists, doctors, secretaries, steelworkers, bus drivers, educators, mothers, horticulturists, politicians, and a host of other roles—because of contraception?
How many women have been able to participate in and enjoy sexual activity with men because of contraception?
And as you consider these questions and more, please visit some other sites that are also talking about contraception: