PODCAST: Toward reproductive sovereignty, not reproductive rights

In this episode, Meghan Murphy speaks with Mary Lou Singleton, a midwife, nurse practitioner, and reproductive sovereignty activist about everything from self-abortion to midwifery to where the reproductive rights movement went wrong.

Women’s bodies have always been have always been the focal point of patriarchy. Liberals and conservatives alike have both worked to ensure women don’t have bodily autonomy. As a result of patriarchy, women’s knowledge of and control over their own bodies has been wrested from us. We are forced to depend on male legislators, a male-dominated medical establishment, and Big Pharma, and woman-centered knowledge and practices, like self-abortion, menstrual extraction, other alternative forms of birth control, and woman-centered birth practices, are no longer common knowledge. While feminism has fought for women’s reproductive rights  — for access to things like abortion and the pill — Mary Lou Singleton says we need to look beyond rights, and towards sovereignty.

Mary Lou is a midwife, nurse practitioner, reproductive sovereignty activist, and founder of Personhood for Women. I had the pleasure of watching her present at this year’s WoLF Fest, and spoke with her over the phone last week, from her home in New Mexico.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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