Criminalization of pregnancy

The documents we introduce in this section collects information and analysis on a phenomenon that has been developing in recent years in the US, though we suspect that is taking place in other countries as well: it is that national health advocates like Lynn Paltrow have called the ‘criminalization of pregnancy’, when those pregnant are racialized and immigrant women, with  few economic resources. As Paltrow’s powerful report (see below) indicates, women are been criminalized for forms of behavior that are all within the law, following the adoption, in several states, of bills giving personhood right to fetuses. As the fetus is treated like a person, the mother is degraded to the role of a container. The more right the fetus has the more she loses, being presented as purely functional to the life of the child she is generating.  Hundreds of women in the US have already been arrested an condemned for being in car accidents, for refusing Ceasarian births, for using even legal medicines if they affect the fetus. All this is done in the name of the defense of life. But this is a hypocritical manoeuvre that hides what is a de facto sterilization process of women who, in the eyes of the states, do not have the right of being mothers, do not have the right to reproduce themselves. Meanwhile, children that couples have obtained through surrogacy are being abandoned and/or ‘passed on’ – indeed ‘recycled’ – through an internet-generated market.  Many of such children end up in centers where they await for new adoption, forced in some cases to present  and advertise themselves to potential fathers and mothers.

These documents are the first we collect in what is developing as one of our first projects : analyzing the new forms of state control over the body of women, whether through the denial of abortion, or through the various forms of sterilization just mentioned, or through the merchantilization of child-birth as in the case of surrogate mothering. We hope we will be joined in this project, with  information coming from other places as well as articles ( which we upload) and notices about similar projects and struggles against these new forms of enclosure of our bodies.

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTS BELOWArrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973-2005

Roe v Wade and the New Jane Crow

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