Books

Book Forum: Reflections on Dána-Ain Davis’s Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth

This article is part of the series:

Dána-Ain Davis’s Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth (NYU Press, 2019) is a vividly written ethnography highlighting how medical racism shapes birth outcomes for Black women in America. Under the sign of maternal health risk and prematurity, Davis argues, the American medical system forces Black women to participate in a limited array of interventions informed by theories of wellness …

Features

Normalizing Sexually Violated Bodies: Sexual Assault Adjudication, Medical Evidence, and the Legal Case

What constitutes evidence of sexual assault?

I am seated in a courtroom as a sexual assault forensic nurse is asked to explain, by a prosecutor, the basic tenets of genital anatomy. During the sexual assault trials I observed in Milwaukee, WI, testimony is highly orchestrated. Sequestration orders bar the presence of witnesses from the courtroom unless they are testifying. The …