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Power and Limitations Within Reproductive Rights: Women in US vs China

Jenny Ng


In this paper, I will state the importance of the following key points: policies, the image of women, the role of the government, dynamics of power, and other factors that need to be examined to understand the restrictions in the empowerment within these ideologies of rights. After evaluating the data on maternal health as a Millennium Development goal, there is a consensus that there was a maternity mortality reduction, yet a need for sustainable development remains. There is a need to acknowledge and understand that this idea of rights is a paradox in itself in the fact that rights are entitled to people. With change, women will gain these mechanisms of power that should be given at birth. These illusions of power influence the degree of internalized stereotypes impacted on populations, which allow problematic structures to allude from the public eye.


This questions whether or not these rights have allowed freedom or constraints that only benefit a particular group. There is a concern about whether or not people have the proper access to healthcare as it is part of a natural right. The focus of this essay will compare China and the United States to understand the different images a government tries to convey to the public. Factors in power relations and justifications between a capitalistic healthcare system versus a developing universal public healthcare system need to be examined to understand the internal and external impact on a population. The misconceptions in generalized rights and “progress” of the world lead the need to examine further the fundamental rights entitled to every individual in particular in the concern of health. Through these pieces of evidence, there are tools of the construct (rights) that are part of a system that maintains structural violence. This comparison shows how the structure of society impacts the image of a whole population, ideologies, agency, and vulnerability.

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