Despite our unexplained hiatus from the Greco-Northern Research Hub due to an exciting HQ change, we will be back in July with more content including some guest writers and engaging new topics.
Since the announcement of the Reproductive Health Series, the landscape has altered dramatically. With the recent Supreme Court ruling that Roe vs. Wade, a landmark rule that gave women in America the constitutional right to access abortion safely, be removed from the constitution. Whilst in the UK, despite the government looking to introduce a bill of rights allowing UK courts to bypass rulings from the European Commission of Human Rights, they also appointed the first women’s health ambassador (The Conversation, 2022).
It is generally agreed that one problem within women’s health as a whole is that there is a problematic focus on reproductive health (Norton, 2016).
Whilst, research does indicate that comparatively there are disparities in many aspects of healthcare, especially in regard to women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community reproductive health sits in a complicated position in the overall health landscape. Reproductive and sexual health is still very much a political playground rather than a genuine health concern. No other topic of healthcare would be open to such politicised debates as what we see for reproductive health.
The field of reproductive health is defined as:
“a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.” (WHO, 2022)
Such freedoms are not a lived reality, even if legally enshrined, as social pressures and gendered socialisation processes influence how we carefully debate these ‘freedoms’.
A series that was primarily intended to highlight disparities amongst reproductive health services, is now shaping up to be something more of a social commentary that will feed into the wider debates regarding women and LGBTQ+ health. Articles will include topics on:
Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss
New Reproductive Technologies
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Stigma
Gender, Embodiment, and Medical Discourse
The rhetoric spilling out of the United States will undoubtedly impact the global impression on abortion access, which will spark more debates on other facets of reproductive health, bodily autonomy, and human rights. We hope for this series to be a space in which a variety of voices and perspectives can be heard, so please engage in discussions and use it as a communal space.
Norton, R., 2016. Women's health: a new global agenda. Women’s Health, 12(3), pp.271-273.
The Conversation., 2022. England appoints first ever women’s health ambassador – here’s what she should focus on. (https://theconversation.com/england-appoints-first-ever-womens-health-ambassador-heres-what-she-should-focus-on-185549) [Date Accessed: 27.06.22]
The WHO., 2022. Reproductive Health. (https://www.who.int/westernpacific/health-topics/reproductive-health) [Date Accessed: 27.06.22]
About the Greco-Northern Research Hub (GNRH)
The Greco-Northern Research Hub is an independent research blog based in Durham, North-East England. The aim of the hub is to make social theory more accessible and use these theories to explore current events. The GNRH team is looking to create a safe, interactive learning space for all.