It started with a tweetstorm in May.
Let’s talk about #BodilyAutonomy as a core Democratic party value. A core American value. Is there a better term for it? More catchy? /1
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) May 8, 2017
Grumpy at the “let’s stop with identity politics” takes, I offered my thoughts on how we might coalesce different agendas around the principle of bodily autonomy.
As an advocate for disability rights, I’ve been seeking ways to link my core issues to those of other groups—people who prioritize reproductive justice, racial justice, decriminalization of narcotics, queer rights, antipoverty measures, and so much more. Each of us exists at specific intersections of needs and concerns. To win, we must find ways to unite our struggles without erasing our differences. One place they connect: the need to defend bodily autonomy.
“Bodily autonomy,” as an abstract philosophical principle, dates back at least to the ancient Greek philosophers. Over the centuries, legal scholars and political philosophers have thought hard about the relationship between rights and laws, the individual and the group, and the sovereign state and the autonomous individual. In American activist circles, bodily autonomy is most often invoked around the fight for reproductive rights. But what I haven’t seen is an effort to harness this principle in a way that binds our seemingly separate movements together.