People gather at a reproductive rights demonstration, Pittsburgh, PA, 1974.
Barbara Freeman/Getty

Day 18: What do reproductive rights mean to you?


In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States found that women had a constitutional right to an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment in the landmark case Roe v. Wade.

Discussions around reproductive rights frequently focus on challenges to that law. But as we’ve been discussing this week, reproductive rights and reproductive justice encompass a broad range of policies, practices, and ideas.

Today we are going to look at a different side of that discussion. A new report found that in 2012, one of every 100 babies born in the United States were conceived via in vitro fertilization, a record high.

In February, Melissa Harris-Perry and her husband James Perry welcomed a new daughter into their family, who was conceived with advanced fertility help. Melissa shared the story of her daughter’s birth in a column on entitled “How we made our miracle.”

Assignment: What do reproductive rights mean to you? How do they relate to women’s status as social and political actors?