Lectures

Making embryos lively: The politics of embryo personhood when fertilization happens under a microscope

On May 25, 2022, Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt signed into law the strictest ban on abortion to date, a policy that prohibits the termination of any pregnancy “from the moment of fertilization.” This law endows an embryo, no matter the stage—long before it has discernible heartbeat—with the same legal status as an unborn child. Almost exactly one month later, on …

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 …

Lectures

Reproductive rights in the time of COVID-19

This article is part of the series:

As the global pandemic escalates, health services are rapidly changing, creating tension between reproductive rights and safeguarding against COVID-19 spread, revealing the question: what is essential and what is not?

As the world grapples with the growing threat of COVID-19, health systems are being put to the test, rushing to radically reconfigure themselves in time to absorb a large influx …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Abortion Access

This month, and especially this past week, has seen immense media coverage of abortion access, both in the United States and abroad. A recent study out of UCSF has shown that abortion is extremely safe, with lower post-procedure ER visits than many other routine surgical procedures. However, despite the safety of this medical procedure, abortion is still highly …

Features

(Anti)Institutional Menses: Our Blood, Our Business

Jane started us off by saying “I grew up in the US, so I could never count on having healthcare.” Jane (for whom I’m using a pseudonym) is a midwife, dark hair pulled back in a low ponytail, with a warm look in her eyes. She’s holding a device that looks like a weird experiment, some combustion between a school …

Features

Ultrasound as a diagnostic tool in Brazil: celebrating babies, blurring problems.

This article is part of the series:

This is a photograph of a publicity for a “street corner” obstetrical ultrasound in Brazil. It proclaims: “ultrasound examinations at low prices.” The advertised “low prices” can be indeed be very low: some clinics charge less than US $10 for an ultrasound examination. The aim such examination is to confirm the existence of a pregnancy, provide reassurance, but above all …

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