The eugenic and racist premise of reproductive rights and population control.

Akhter F

The demand for reproductive rights, the proliferation of population control programs in developing countries, and the development of new reproductive technologies are all interconnected in politically and economically exploiting poorer countries. The premises are racism and eugenics. Women should question reproductive rights that separate women biologically from the social functions of bearing and raising children, and the position of reproductive rights within the larger capitalist-patriarchal structure. Women should be against reproductive rights because of history. The historical realities faced by Bangladesh women are described and the history of the demand for reproductive rights is retold. Developing country women do not now nor have they had women demanding the right for birth control, such as Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman in the US. Although Bangladesh women had no notion of "right," they practiced abstinence and coitus interruptus and received from their governments a variety of contraceptives. The Bangladesh woman is receiving free contraception without raising the demand, while Western women demand the right to have more contraceptives to control their own fertility to their own will. Bangladesh is a dumping ground for contraception. Family planning workers in Bangladesh do not have adequate information or skills to protect women. Contraceptive prevalence surveys in Bangladesh do not question whether women have enough information to make a choice between contraceptives. The way in which reproductive rights mirror capitalist-patriarchal ideology is expressed. Reproductive rights is a slogan for population control; feminist population control is not different from World Bank policy. Angela Davies' treatise on women, race, and class is cited extensively to reflect the racist and eugenic background of the reproductive rights movement. The race purity of Hitler was derived from eugenics literature. Bangladesh women suffer from family violence because of bleeding, spotting, and amenorrhea; is this reproductive freedom?

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