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Unformatted text preview: visualizing the fetus today’s articles address the relationship between a pregnant woman and her fetus. how that relationship is experienced by pregnant women and represented by others is obviously fraught in this country because it’s become so tied up in abortion politics HANDOUT (encyclopedia entry) today I don’t want to hash out the abortion debate itself; rather, want to see if we can ferret out some of the assumptions that underlie how abortion is debated in this country — as a debate over relative rights with Roe , legal status of abortion is framed in terms of individual rights: legally, right to privacy b/w woman and her doctor. more popularly, “right to choose” whether to carry a pregnancy to term — but this is misleading, b/c in legal terms it’s a “negative” right — free of government interference, not a “positive” right of access 3 states have only 1 abortion provider (including S.D.) criminalizing abortion has NEVER ended its practice – legal abortion doesn’t mean abortion v. no abortion, it means safe, medically regulated abortion v. unsafe, unregulated abortion but to argue against the “right to choose”, anti-abortionists have championed “right-to- life”: pitting one set of rights against the other and reframing issue of “life” more, the language of individual rights pits mother against fetus — makes abortion seem obviously antithetical to motherhood, a sign of the rejection of maternal values and nurturance [see Faye Ginsburg’s Contested Lives ] abortion is far more common than many Americans might believe roughly 20% of all pregnancies in US end in abortion (13% in miscarriage) abortion rate dropped in the 1990s (under Clinton) — reasons? ( not stronger maternal values) better contraceptives available morning-after pill available stronger economy (21% women having abortion give reason of insufficient resources) abortion rate has gone up under Bush for inverse reasons [stats from Guttmacher Institute] framing abortion question as matter of rights of woman against rights of fetus is not inevitable; this is makes sense only within a particular cultural logic right to life movement and commercialized ultrasound emerge from (and reinforce) same shift: referring to fetus as separate and distinct from woman 1 this is...
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2.158 taught by Professor Ericajames during the Spring '03 term at MIT.
- Spring '03