Why Abortion Rights Matter.

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Joyce Arthur, Executive Director ARCC 

Joyce Arthur is a Canadian feminist and pro-choice activist based in British Columbia. She is the founder and executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), a national organization that advocates for accessible and affordable abortion services across Canada. She has been active in the pro-choice movement for many years and is known for her work in educating the public and policymakers about abortion rights and reproductive justice. She also write and publish on those topics.

What is Reproductive Justice?

Reproductive justice is a framework that encompasses the right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to parent the children one has in safe and healthy environments. It is a social justice movement that emerged from the intersection of reproductive rights and civil rights movements in the United States. The term was first coined in 1994 by a group of Black feminists, and it has since been adopted and expanded upon by other marginalized communities.

The Reproductive justice lens is a more comprehensive way of looking at reproductive health issues by highlighting the intersection of different social issues such as economic, racial and gender discrimination. It addresses the ways in which these issues impact individuals and communities’ ability to control their own fertility, access healthcare, and raise their children in safe and healthy environments. This concept thus expands the traditional pro-choice movement that focuses only on the right to access abortion and birth control, to recognizing the multiple ways in which systemic oppression can hinder or enable people’s reproductive lives.

Why Don’t We Discuss Abortion in Schools?

There still is a heavy stigma on the topic of abortion for many reasons. It is a deeply personal issue that is also steeped with morality . For Joyce however, you cannot achieve equality without having

Abortion is a complex and emotionally charged issue, and discussions about it in public schools can be controversial and divisive. In many places, there are differing opinions and beliefs about abortion, and schools may be reluctant to take a stance on the issue or to facilitate discussions that could be seen as promoting one viewpoint over another.

In addition, there are many legal and policy considerations that come into play when discussing abortion in schools. In the United States, for example, the Supreme Court has held that states have the right to regulate abortion, and some states have laws in place that prohibit or limit the discussion of abortion in schools.

Schools are also generally supposed to be a safe and inclusive space for students, and discussing abortion may make some students feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. Some students may come from families with strong religious or moral objections to abortion, or may have had personal experiences with abortion, and discussing the topic could be traumatic for them.

Why is it So Hard To Find Information on Abortion?

There are a few reasons why there may be limited information on abortion available to young people. One reason is that laws and regulations around the provision of abortion information and services can make it difficult for young people to access information. For example, some states have laws that require parental consent for minors to receive abortion services or to receive information about abortion, which can act as a barrier to access for young people.

Another reason is social stigma and taboo surrounding abortion, which can make it difficult for young people to initiate conversations about abortion or to find accurate and unbiased information about it. Additionally, there is a lack of sex education in many places that does not cover the full spectrum of the reproductive rights and this might include the topic of abortion.

There are also still some religious organizations and individuals that are against the idea of abortion and that might discourage from providing the information or might actively work to block any access to such information.

All these factors can contribute to a lack of information available to young people. However, there are many organizations and individuals that are working to provide accurate and accessible information about abortion to young people and to fight against the barriers that make it difficult for them to access this information.

Is There Any Common Ground between Pro Life and Pro Choice Groups?

While pro-life and pro-choice groups have fundamentally different beliefs about the issue of abortion, there are some areas of common ground that they may agree on.

One area of common ground is that both pro-life and pro-choice groups generally agree that the number of abortions should be reduced. Pro-life groups typically advocate for reducing the number of abortions by making abortion illegal or more difficult to obtain, while pro-choice groups typically advocate for reducing the number of abortions through education, access to contraception, and support for individuals facing unintended pregnancies.

Another area of common ground is that both pro-life and pro-choice groups generally agree that the health and well-being of women should be a priority. Pro-life groups may focus on the health and well-being of the unborn fetus, while pro-choice groups may focus on the health and well-being of the pregnant person.

Additionally, both sides might agree on the importance of sex education, although the approach to it could be different. Pro-life groups may want abstinence-based education, while pro-choice groups may want comprehensive education that includes contraception and safe sex.