5 Ala. C.R. & C.L. L. Rev. 1 (2013-2014)
Coerced Parenthood as Family Policy: Feminism, the Moral Agency of Women, and Men's Right to Choose

handle is hein.journals/alabcrcl5 and id is 9 raw text is: 






            ALABAMA CIVIL RIGHTS &

         CIVIL LIBERTIES LAW REVIEW


Volume 5                                                         2013



         COERCED PARENTHOOD AS FAMILY POLICY:
      FEMINISM, THE MORAL AGENCY OF WOMEN, AND
                  MEN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE


                          Lisa Lucile Owens*

                              ABSTRACT

    Part of what makes human agency moral is the demand that individu-
als think through their choices and, to the extent that they are choices
made freely and unilaterally, that they shoulder most if not all of the con-
sequences that visit upon those choices. It is not uncommon for the state to
intervene in this moral field, shifting to choice-bystanders or the entire
society the consequences attracted by free and unilateral choices individu-
als make. However, counter-intuitively, sometimes this burden realloca-
tion operates to discount the moral agency of the individual whose choice
was free and unilateral. Indeed, in a world of subtle forms of domination,
disrespect for the moral agency of certain groups sometimes takes the
form of a privilege that is benign on the surface while profoundly under-
mining in its long term impact on those groups' claims to equal moral
agency. This article argues that there is an aspect of women's reproductive
privileges that undermine their equal moral agency. Unfortunately, this
phenomenon of subjugation-through-rights-guarantees has escaped feminist
analysis of reproductive rights.
    This article focuses on one instance of this phenomenon. The Supreme
Court has established and regulated a basic privacy right to reproductive


  *   J.D., LL.M., Department of Sociology, Columbia University. I am grateful to Saskia Sassen,
Josh Whitford, Dan Kanstroom, Betsy Bartholet, Vlad Perju, Katie Young, Pam Egleston, Ed Saad,
Emily Godsey, Paulo Barrozo, and Maria B. for their help and support. All errors are my own.


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