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Haimson, Chloe. “The Battle for Reproductive Justice: Denying Indian Women Plan B Affects All Women.” Indian Country Today Media Network, January 2013.


The article’s basic premise is that if one segment of the female population is denied access to Plan B, or the “morning after pill,” then women at large cannot truly attain equality because their reproductive choices are still limited. Haimson critiques the debate surrounding women and their ability to “have it all,” asking how women are supposed to have it all when some women still lack access to Plan B. She uses Native-American women as a case study for how political debates surrounding reproductive rights affect real women. She documents that Native-American women are unable to receive Plan B from their healthcare providers (IHS) and in addition, most Native American women lack the most basic information about their rights to access. Thus, Haimson's main point is that while the debate about women’s equality tends to focus on economic and equal opportunity, “no woman can count on ‘having it all’ as long as some women continue to be denied even the basics,” i.e. birth control and contraceptives. Reproductive rights and the denial of such rights affects all women, not just those denied. This article is a useful exploration of debates surrounding women’s equality. The author skillfully creates a connection between reproductive rights and equality through her interview with Charon Asetoyer, a health activist working with young Native American women. Asetoyer highlights the way these women are being systematically denied access to reproductive health and as such have their basic human rights violated. It is through this interview and her own analysis that Haimson supports her main argument. The article is an easy read and is recommended for anyone interested in Plan B, Native-American women’s experience with reproductive health, and how reproductive rights connects to equal rights.


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Related Topics

Government regulation   Race/ethnicity: Native American/Indigenous   Human rights   Contraception/birth control   Health care