Feminist Friday – Bodily Autonomy


Each week the Fawcett team will be scouring the media and blogosphere to bring you our top essential feminist posts from the past 7 days – the good, the bad and the ugly…

In this week’s Feminist Friday we look at the latest struggles around women’s bodily autonomy.

In a Feminist Friday from December we looked at a video of a pregnant woman confronting anti-abortion campaigners who were filming women entering a London abortion clinic. The restriction and shaming of women who seek abortion is an ongoing fight.

This week over forty medical professionals and academics signed an open letter to the Telegraph arguing that criminalising sex selective abortion could lead to the erosion of women’s reproductive rights. Campaigners including Conservative MP Fiona Bruce and the Pro-Life All-Party Parliamentary Group have suggested that sex selective abortion is happening widely in the UK and called for it to be made illegal to prevent gender discrimination.

But can we really promote gender equality by placing restrictions on women’s bodies? We have seen in the US how anti-abortionists have curtailed the right to abortions by placing massive restrictions on women, from closing abortion clinics to forcing women to have an invasive vaginal ultrasound. The comedian Sarah Silverman recently posted this satirical video on the hoops women have to jump though to access abortion in the US.

Lastly in this week’s roundup, we have an inspiring video about women who have been discriminated against because of their size. Watch as they answer candid questions such as “Has fat ever stopped you from doing normal stuff?” to “Is fat sex difficult?” The women in this video show that we don’t need to accept society’s limited views of our bodies, and that the diversity of our bodies is in fact something to be celebrated.

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Nuala Kenny
Nuala is the Database Assistant at Fawcett.