Almost everyone who has been on any social media platform in the last two years has seen or heard the words “My body, my choice”. For those who haven’t heard it, it is the pro-choice movement that has recently surfaced with the talk of defunding Planned Parent-hood. The whole idea behind this movement is that you should be able to choose what you want to happen to your body, and no one else can tell you what to do with it. In the case of this movement, it deals with the ideas of whether a woman should be able to get an abortion or not. However, when looking at it in a much less controversial light, the basis of this argument is to let me do whatever the heck I want with MY body.
In todays time, the younger generations have more freedom than past generations did. We can dress how we want, say what we want and within reason, do what we want. The younger generations are the generations that can change the future for the better, and we can see them trying with each new movement that pops up.
When I think of “My body, my choice” I think of the ability to be able to do what I want with my body because I have control over my body and what happens to it. For many of us, this is true, but for African Americans, it was not always the case. In Medical Apartheid, Harriet A. Washington writes of many accounts where African Americans had no say over what happened to their bodies. Medical experiments were done on them when they were alive, and their dead bodies were awarded to medical schools for medical research without alerting their families. Washington talks about one man named Cade who went to the hospital for severe injuries that caused doctors to believe he would not make it through the night. Cade was able to get better within a few days but unbeknownst to him, his doctors were under contract with the AEC (216). Without being given a choice, he was injected with plutonium. After this, he was kept in the hospital for six months after this where they pulled his teeth and took bone samples to see the effects of the plutonium. While Cade did go on to live a happy and healthy life, he did not get to choose what happened to his body. His ability to choose was taken away the minute they chose to not inform him of what was happening.
Cade was never given the option to choose what happened to him, he was never given any options. Not only is this taking away his right to choose, but it is also dehumanizing. Human beings should be able to choose and give their consent before medical procedures are done to them and this was something never available to Cade. Because they needed to find out the effects of plutonium on the human body they used Cade as a vehicle for medical research taking away his choice to choose to allow this to happen or not.
With the “My body, my choice” movement that has recently surfaced, supporters believed that they should get to choose what happens to their body. This is a theme that sits with me as everyone, should be able to get the options to choose what happens with their bodies.