Airing The Voice Of Women

Stella Browne

When we look back at Birth Control Campaigners in history, Stella Browne is a name that needs to be reiterated over and over again, not only for her launching the program. This radical, fearless and highly inspiring woman was a force to reckon with. Also, for most of the reproductive freedom that we enjoy today, it is Browne who deserves the credit for kick-starting the very discussion and getting the ball rolling. Prior to her campaign, talks of any such kind were considered absolutely taboo. She not only popularized the burning issue of female sexuality rights during her lifetime, but her activism accomplished in inspiring thousands of activists and keeping the debates on even after her death. Her much-acclaimed lecture on the ‘Right to Abortion’ at the World League for Sexual Reform held in London, was a magnificent tribute to feminism and the free spirit of womankind. Her brains, gusto, passion and campaign for reproductive health will forever be etched in our feminist hearts. More than anything else, she was way ahead of her time in discussing the intricacies of abortion rights, and citing the various terrible measures that the women who were denied of this fundamental right, usually resorted to, which includes suicide, madness, injury and even blood poisoning.

Abortion Rights in Latin America

It would stun you to know that even in this day and age of so-called modernity, almost 97% of women living in Latin America do not have the right to abort. There are 7 countries in South America and the Caribbean altogether, wherein abortion is absolutely illegal or restricted, irrespective of the severity of the circumstances. On the other hand, there are 8 other countries that have a slightly different take on abortion. In these cases, the right to abort freely based on the woman’s choice is still not there, but it is nevertheless allowed only in case of emergency, when the life of the woman is in danger. Given the backwardness of reproductive health legislations in Latin American countries even in the new millennium, the importance of observing and taking part in the 28th September Activities becomes all the more necessary.

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