not surprising to find that Sweden's model of liberal abortion and
maternal welfare policy creates the widest range of access and support for abortion and
Vogel (1993) argues that feminists "are often frustrated by the absence in the United
States of a social welfare system committed to comprehensive support for the needs of
women and families" (Vogel 1993). Vogel attributes the lack of extensive
maternal welfare policies similar to those in Western Europe by pointing to the
"ideologies of individualism and liberty conceived of as freedom from state
interference[...] Policy deliberations have rejected universalistic conceptualizations
that posit a linkage between citizens' needs, state responsibility, and the collective
social good" (Vogel 1993). The absence of liberal abortion
and maternal welfare policies, however, does not increase freedom for
poor and working-class women; rather they
Presently, most countries in the Western world have policies that provide to women with
low socioeconomic status viable reproductive health options. Rudy (1996) argues that:
a legal right to abortion is not enough; the convictions associated
with caring compel us to work for the social,
emotional, and material conditions whereby a woman can choose either
an abortion or a baby. In order to place power and authority back in the hands of women, we must work
to make abortions available to all women, regardless of poverty, inconvenience, or
isolation. We must also work to provide women with adequate resources
and circumstances so that she may have that baby if she chooses.
limiting the choices available to poor and working-class women faced
with unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, nations
perpetuate the patriarchal circumscription of women to the domestic sphere.
Patriarchal norms have persisted more forcefully in countries where choice is most
constrained by abortion and maternal welfare policy. Concerning
the reproductive choices of women, nations need liberal abortion and
maternal welfare policies if they are
to create the conditions whereby women from all socioeconomic strata
are able to choose to terminate their pregnancy or carry it to term.
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