My Body My Choice/Mera Jism Meri Marzi

Facing the waves at an undisclosed location, (c) Pippa Virdee, 2015.

The Evolution of “My Body, My Choice” By Lily Patterson, Voicesofgenz, Jul 27, 2020

An iconic tagline for feminists and activists across the globe, “My Body, My Choice” has packed a powerful punch in the fight for equality and, more specifically, womxn’s rights. Starting in the 1970s, the phrase was unofficially coined as a mantra belonging to the gender equality movement and was commonly heard at protests in a number of countries. Starting in the late 20th century, “My Body, My Choice” became words of empowerment and retaliation, particularly in the battle for reproductive rights and accessible abortions. In response to the oppression facing womxn and their reproductive power, feminists and protestors continue to use this phrase as a battle cry, an expression of the importance of bodily autonomy. Naturally, this response isn’t well-received by everyone, and is particularly opposed by pro-life supporters and government officials with anti-abortion agendas. As you can imagine, it isn’t exactly a popular mantra with sexists either. Regardless, “My Body, My Choice” continues to be an expression of the rights womxn deserve, and it is still consistently used in the battle for gender equality.

These words of strength have found their way around the world, and international chants for reproductive freedom and equality have rung proud. In a number of countries around the world, this tagline is met with brutal criticism. In recent months, womxn in Pakistan have been organizing marches and taking a stand against the injustices facing them in daily life. The phrase “Mera Jism Meri Marzi” (meaning “My Body, My Choice”) has made its home in the streets of Pakistan as activists demanding equality practically shout it from the rooftops. In Pakistan, this mantra holds true to its original intentions and is utilized as a powerful retaliation to sexist societal ideals and the archaic patriarchy. Other countries, including Zambia, England, Austria, Turkey, and more, have recently followed suit in chanting “My Body My Choice” as a bold statement about reproductive rights, gender equality, and other feminist ideals. The original intention of this tagline is described by Rameeza Ahmed, a journalist who covered the marches happening in Pakistan. “Whether she chooses to follow a certain religion or whether she chooses to walk around proudly without any clothes, it is her right to do as she wants and nobody else has a right to prevent her from exercising her choice,” states Ahmed.[Read complete article:]

my body. my choice written by Samantha Francesca, October 2017

I’ve never felt so much anger before towards anyone.
Have you ever looked someone in the eye and have them tell you that you should’ve kept the child that was planted in you by a stranger who drugged and ****** you?
Have you wiped the tears of a woman in despair because she was ***** and told she wasn’t allowed to get an abortion?
Have you curled up in a ball, trying to figure out who to tell about your personal experience of ****** assault and ****?
Tell me, person who says abortion is a sin and that it is relative to the holocaust, will my ****** support me?
Will my ****** pay for doctors visits?
Will my ****** pay the medicals bills for giving birth?
Will my ****** pay child support?
**** no and don’t tell me that I should always save the child.
Excuse me if I don’t want to carry my ******’s child inside of me.
My body. My choice.

With abortion heading back to the Supreme Court, is it time to retire the ‘my body, my choice’ slogan? By Elizabeth Lanphier in The Conversation, 4 August 2021.

The slogan “my body, my choice” has been a feature of the reproductive rights movement in the U.S. and around the world since at least the 1960s. It’s now shorthand for concepts like bodily autonomy and self-determination. In the context of reproductive rights, “my body, my choice” asserts freedom from external control – specifically government control – over one’s reproductive choices.

It makes sense that “my body, my choice” gained steam in the years leading up to Roe v. Wade – a time when reproductive rights activists were fighting for the government to stay out of abortion decisions. Roe did just that by determining that abortion is a private choice between a pregnant person and their physician.

As a private matter, the Supreme Court determined that the government cannot interfere with one’s right to an abortion prior to fetal viability. In so doing, Roe established what philosophers call a “negative liberty,” or freedom from something. This freedom from interference was a crucial step toward reproductive rights in the U.S.

But in the decades since Roe, various states have taken steps to whittle away at the constitutionally protected right to abortion. “My body, my choice” frequently appears on signs at protests against abortion restrictions and in social media campaigns like #MyBodyMyChoice. [Read complete piece which discusses the philosophical and ethical debates around access and right to health care:]

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