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Friday, April 27, 2007

How To Control Our Body?

Recent efforts to limit women's control of their bodies doesn't end with abortion. There is also a recent decision from the FDA regarding a pill that would eliminate menstruation.
The biological functioning of my body is all over the news right now. Lawmakers and federal regulatory agencies are asking themselves whether I should be allowed to have abortions, and whether I should be allowed to take a drug that prevents me from menstruating.

You probably know about the brouhaha over abortion, spurred by the recent Supreme Court decision, but you may not have realized that decision came as the Food and Drug Administration decides the fate of Lybrel, a birth control pill that could liberate millions of women from paying Tampax for "wings" every month.

But these two issues are not unrelated. They are both symptoms of how much the government loves to regulate the basic functioning of my body. Still, there are some key differences. Most arguments over abortion boil down to whether you think a woman's right to control her future is more or less important than the much-debated rights of a potential human.

Because the legal status of a fetus has become part of the abortion debate, it's hard to cast abortion purely as a female reproductive rights issue (as much as I'd like to do that). These days the abortion debate is also about how we define human life and whether a fetus constitutes a being that deserves legal protection.

However, the issue of controlling menstrual cycles is unequivocally about the female reproductive cycle, untainted by questions of embryo civil rights. Why should there be any controversy over pharmaceutical company Wyeth marketing Lybrel, which is exactly like a birth control pill without the seven-day placebo cycle that creates a fake period? (In case you aren't a Pill geek, the period women have while taking contraceptive pills is caused only by hormone fluctuation and not a biological need to flush out unused eggs -- the Pill works by preventing the ripening of said eggs. So it's purely a cosmetic menstrual cycle.)

Read More:http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/50997/

Posted by Ajay :: 10:16 AM :: 0 comments

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