Patriarchal norms constitute a threat to women’s health because of the notion of biology as a woman’s destiny. So, in other words, because women have breasts or because women get their period, certain medical issues are inevitable, and therefore looked down upon by men or male physicians. This also ties into the why women are treated differently in the health care system. Because women get their periods and are moody or go through menopause and are ‘moody’, they are prescribed way more medication that alters moods than men. If men get angry or upset because of changes in their body, no one hands them over prescriptions for different mood elevating drugs.
Racism has a tremendous impact on the gendered experiences of women of color in the health care system. More women of color are poor and uninsured when it comes to health care and are therefore denied health care. Also, women of color are stereotyped as having excessive amounts of children when they should not and are therefore seen negatively in that light as well.
Reproductive choice is important for women because there are some situations in which women need a reproductive choice because they are just not ready for children. A lot of women might use contraceptives when they first get married (or even if they aren’t married) because they do not believe that they have enough financial stability to support a child at that certain point in their life. Also, some women might not want children period because of certain health risks that they are afraid of passing on to their children. Also, women who choose to terminate their pregnancy might do it because of – again – financial instability, rape, or because serious medical complications may occur that might result in permanent health damage or even death if a woman cannot terminate the pregnancy.
It is important for feminists to try and broaden discussions of reproductive choice beyond the issue of abortion because many people only see that aspect of it. If people knew more about the issues of contraceptives, they might realize that a contraceptive is extremely important for women who are just not ready to become parents.