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Reproductive Rights

  • ... the higher the development of women, the more they suffer from the 'patriotic' mandate to bear many children to replace the nation's losses. For they know that, from the point of view of their personal development as well as that of the race, fewer but better children are to be preferred.

  • Without the means to prevent, and to control the timing of, conception, economic and political rights have limited meaning for women. If women cannot plan their pregnancies, they can plan little else in their lives ...

  • Call the police to Bessie, get her jailed? Queenie would find someone else to do what she wanted done, for it was clear she was determined to be rid of her progeny. If there was one fact becoming ever more clear to him it was that the Queenies of London, like the Pearls, would go to any lengths to rid themselves of the punishment their sex heaped on them. Abandoned by men who shared the culpability of their dilemma, there was no other answer for them but to find someone like Bessie Woodstock to 'take care of them,' a dreadful euphemism that filled his mind with a sick depair.

  • Nothing is more central to a woman's life than the ability to control her childbearing. And it often seems that nothing is more central to authoritarian religions' belief systems than to prevent her from doing that.

  • The overall legislative theme has seemed to be 'reproduce and abandon' as that precious little 'pre-born baby,' a 'miracle of life' while in utero, gets transformed by birth into a 'sniveling little welfare cheat' (as one particularly apt political cartoon put it).

  • A modern and humane civilization must control conception or sink into barbaric cruelty to individuals.

  • The Catholic wife is under great pressure ... If she uses contraceptives, she is called wicked by her parish priest. If she follows the advice of her parish priest and refrains from sexual intercourse, she is called cold by her husband. If she doesn't take steps, she is called mad by society at large.

  • Choice has always been a privilege of those who could afford to pay for it.

  • I don't think abortion is the problem. Unwanted pregnancies are the problem.

  • ... I belong to that enormous group, very likely a majority, in fact, who are both pro-choice and anti-abortion.

  • The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.

    • Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
    • in Susan Edmiston, "Portia Faces Life -- The Trials of Law School," Ms. ()
  • Hope is the best contraceptive.

  • Until that day when women, and only women, shall determine which American males must, by law, have vasectomies, then — and only then — will you or any man have the right to determine which American women can have abortions.

  • The fruits of rape prepare for birth. What should be done? Woman is free to dispose of herself. She therefore has the right to refuse maternity imposed by force. Society may not complete the barbarians' work by condemning the victim to be resigned. To uproot the seed is a right.

  • Pro-choice supporters are often heard using the cool language of the courts and the vocabulary of rights. Americans who are deeply ambivalent about abortion often miss the sound of caring.

  • If we can't preserve the privacy of our right to procreate, I can't imagine what rights we will be able to protect.

  • I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.

  • The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.

  • Contraception: my freedom. Abortion: my last resort. Pregnancy: my choice.