Bodily Autonomy: Consent, Law and Morality

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: August 25, 2020

autonomy has always been a heated discussion with extreme stands from both sides. Bodily
autonomy is not restricted to abortion or circumcision – the subject is more extensive but somehow
the debate has found it’s limitations. This is not a love letter to
the liberal neither a criticism directed towards the conservatives. We’re
simply laying down facts and trying to gather and comprehend the diverse accumulation of ideas and

Source: Michigan Radio

begin with, we must be clear on what bodily autonomy is. It can be
conceptualized as a belief that people have the right over their body – a human
right to be free to make their own decisions regarding anything that concerns their
body. Of course, this definition alters when and if their decision raises
public health concerns like outbreaks that could possibly make other people ill (think of

when we speak of bodily autonomy we must consider contributing factors like
colonialism, racism, capitalism, and homophobia at large. This broadens our
understanding of the subject and confirms that the ideology isn’t simply
limited to women and their right to choose. Advocates don’t simply say that
people with a fertilized egg within their uterus should have access to safer
abortions. They also urge the government to make healthcare and medical facilities
more equitable and accessible to everyone.

includes the rights of the transgender community that only seeks secure and non-judgmental
medical procedures and surgeries. It includes the rights of the rest of the
LGBTQ+ community, forced into conversion therapy and forbidden the right
to explore and experience sexual relationships.

Source: The Circle NGO

It is a fundamental right that restores faith
in humanity because it puts an end to the human rights violation. Slavery, forced
sterilization, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment, rape, child
pornography, sex trafficking are some of the commonly observed examples – even to
this date.

people on the opposing side suggest that by allowing people to exercise bodily
autonomy, we are maiming and murdering innocent souls. They believe
pro-choice means hating biology. They’re convinced that modern-day feminism
is an attack to humanity and that by claiming their own bodies, women are
dismantling nature.

outrage from this side of the line is often the loudest as it’s filled with
atrocious bullying and character assassination. Hate is always easy but
fighting for justice is challenging and you often don’t see the results in your
own lifetime. However, this battle has been going on for over decades now.

The problem has been prevalent for as long as
one can remember. And it’s usually led by old and white male conservatives who
have no idea what it’s like to be a woman or to belong to a marginalized community. It’s
beyond their comprehension because they have always practiced complete liberty
and freedom of choice. They’ve been handed over all the privileges and rights –
and they make sure to manipulate and exploit it to their advantage.

have no idea what it’s like to be a woman who pushes herself down the stairs –
knowing that it could lead to her death. This isn’t what a murderer looks like;
this is what a desperate person does to protect her mental peace and the future
of the unborn fetus. This is what a rape victim does to ensure they don’t have
to live the horrible tragedy again and again for the rest of their life. This is
for all the college undergraduates, for all the unplanned pregnancies that
happen when the person is not even capable of feeding themselves, let alone raise
a child.

Source: Kerala Kaumudi

autonomy is for all the marginalized communities that were failed by their
system – people who didn’t have access to birth control and other health
essentials. This is for the children who were impregnated as minors. This is
for the Asian and Black Community, for the Transgenders and queers and
non-conforming identities.  

is about consent – and if you talk about morality then you must include the
mental health status of the people who’ve been ripped off their bodily rights.
You must consider the quality of life of the child who was unwanted from the
minute that egg fertilized in the uterus. You’re right in saying that it will
be a murder because by depriving a living being of their bodily rights, you’re
killing them.

Source: We Heart It 

comparison, even corpses are granted autonomy. You can’t take away the organs
of any dead body if a written consent is not given. This rule is applicable
vehemently no matter what the circumstances – you respect the dead, right? This
means that dead bodies have more rights – and may I interject the word “respect”,
than these human beings. Now, what does that say about morality?  Is it okay to kill a person from inside, brutally murder their spirits, and celebrate their misfortune?  

Updated August 25, 2020
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