Elevate Difference

The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World

In The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World, author and investigative journalist Michelle Goldberg uses her abilities to uncover the truth about the reproductive rights (and lack thereof) for women around the world. As we grow into a global community, the politics of sex, child bearing, and child rearing are monumental issues that are overlooked for the convenience of those in power. This book explores the reality of the situation, including many real life accounts of the struggles faced by women in countries that span four continents.

Chapter one begins with a heartbreaking tale of the first victim of an abortion ban in Nicaragua. The country deemed that abortion in any form was illegal. Jazmina Bojorge began suffering a miscarriage and due to fear of legal repercussions the doctors, against their better judgment, gave her medicine to stop the labor because helping her with the miscarriage—that is, terminating the pregnancy—would have been illegal. The delay in action caused her to die. If the doctors could have performed medical assistance in ways that are associated with abortions, it would have saved Jazmina’s life.

The book goes into great detail about the various issues that surround women’s rights and the laws and culture that repress them. Topics include contraception, pregnancy and childbirth, AIDS, female circumcision, abortion, sex-selective abortion, rape, and the role of women in society. The political stances of both the Left and the Right are dissected with suggestions of what should be done and how women can stand strong together to fight against the torment we collectively endure.

The Means of Reproduction is a hard hitting read. Goldberg opens the eyes of the reader to the unjust treatment of women due to reproduction. Feminist activists will be motivated to take stronger action after reading this book. Anyone else will be hit with the realization that they can no longer choose to be ignorant. The facts are stacked up, and it’s time to take action.

This review is cross-posted on Girl w/ Pen.

Written by: Sarah Eve Nichols-Fulghum, March 23rd 2009