THIS VOLUME GREW Out of a panel on government control of reproduction at the American Political Science Association 1992 annual meeting. Like the original panel presenters, the contributors to Expecting Trouble convey the stark contrast between the promise of new ways to ensure healthier babies, help women and couples conceive and carry much-wanted pregnancies to term, and end the scourge of genetic defects and diseases versus the fear that new reproductive technologies will erode respect for pregnant women's rights and autonomy as doctors and the legal system redefine their responsiblities. Indeed, the essays seem to sketch the contours of a "pregnancy police state," where waiters refuse to serve pregnant women glasses of wine, children sue their mothers for harm caused before birth, surrogacy contracts are enforced even if the birth mother changes her mind, threats of prosecution force pregnant drug users, at least if they are black or poor, to attend drug rehabilitation centers, and police officers appear at hospitals to arrest women whose newborn babies have tested positive for drugs.
It is not simply its Manichaean quality that makes work in this area interesting. The Conditions under which women get pregnant, gestate babies, and give birth are changing in fundamental ways as society spurs new medical techniques and procedures, commercial agreements that allow a woman to carry and give birth to a baby for others, and a sharpened sense of maternal responsibility for protecting fetuses from exposure to toxins and injuries. We are called upon to think about how new technologies, surrogacy arrangements, and addictions affect a crucial part of the human Condition -- the way our species reproduces itself. 1 How do they affect the sense of connection between pregnant woman and fetus? How do they affect women's experience of pregnancy as a medicalized and carefully managed process, as opposed to a cyclic, normal set
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Expecting Trouble:Surrogacy, Fetal Abuse, and New Reproductive Technologies. Contributors: Patricia Boling - Editor. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 1.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.