WGS.S10 | Spring 2013 | Undergraduate

Reproductive Politics in the United States


1 Introduction to Course Themes and Requirements No readings
2 Thinking about Reproduction and Politics

Petchesky, Rosalind. “Beyond ‘A Woman’s Right to Choose’ Feminist Ideas about Reproductive Rights.” In The Reproductive Rights Reader: Law, Medicine, and the Construction of Motherhood. Edited by Nancy Ehrenreich. New York University Press, 2008, pp. 106–10. ISBN: 9780814722312. [Preview with Google Books]

Baer, Judith A., and Leslie Goldstein. “Muller v. Oregon (1908).” In The Constitutional and Legal Rights of Women: Cases in Law and Social Change. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780195330748.

Eastman, Crystal. “Now We Can Begin: What’s Next?” (1920). Reprinted by about.com

Cade Bambara, Toni, ed. “The Pill: Genocide or Liberation? (1969)” In The Black Woman: An Anthology. Washington Square Press, 2005, pp. 52–7. ISBN: 9780743476973.

Michie, Helena, and Naomi Cahn. “Expectant Readers.” In Confinements: Fertility and Infertility in Contemporary Culture. Rutgers University Press, 1997, pp. 24–31. ISBN: 9780813524337.

Price, Kimala. “What is Reproductive Justice? How Women of Color Activists are Redefining the Pro–Choice Paradigm.” Meridians 10, no. 2 (2010): 42–65.

3 Involuntary Childlessness at the Hands of the State: The History of Sterilization Abuse

Documentary: “La Operacion.” Directed by Ana María García. Latin American Film Project, 1982.  Available on YouTube. Accessed December 16, 2013.

Tyler, Elaine. Chapters 2, and 3 in Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness. Harvard University Press, 1997, pp. 1–4. ISBN: 9780674061828. [Preview with Google Books]

Federal consent form for sterilization (PDF)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Use of Contraception in the United States: 1982–2008 (PDF).” Series 23, no. 29. August 2010. (Sterilization Info: Figure 7, Tables 10 & 11).

4 Birth Control Politics, Abortion Law

McCann, Carole. “Women as Leaders in the Contraceptive Movement.” In Gender and Women’s Leadership: A Reference Handbook. Vol 2. Edited by Karen O’Connor. Sage Publications, 2010, pp. 749–56. ISBN: 9781412960830. [Preview with Google Books]

Chesler, Ellen. “Was Planned Parenthood’s Founder Racist?Salon.com. November 2, 2011.

Glover, Juleanna. “Republicans Must Support Public Financing for Contraception.New York Times (op–ed), December 27, 2012.

Contraception fact sheet. Guttmacher Institute. August 2013.

Shapiro, Ian, ed. “Roe v. Wade.” Excerpts in Abortion: The Supreme Court Decisions, 1965–2007. Hackett Publishing Co., 2008. ISBN: 9780872209039.

O’Brien, David. “Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.” Excerpts in Constitutional Law and Politics, Volume Two, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. 7th ed. W. W. Norton & Company, 2008, pp. 1170–82. ISBN: 9780393930399.

5 Abortion Law, Politics, and Access

Documentary: Jane: An Abortion Service. Directed by Kirtz, Kate, and Nell Lundy. Color, 58 min. 1996. [16mm/DVD]

Siegel, Reva. “Concurring Opinion.” In What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said: The Nation’s Top Legal Experts Rewrite America’s Most Controversial Decision. Edited by Jack Balkin. New York University Press, 2007, pp. 63–85. ISBN: 9780814799864. [Preview with Google Books]

Ehrenreich, Nancy, ed. “Harris v. McRae.” In The Reproductive Rights Reader: Law, Medicine, and the Construction of Motherhood. New York University Press, 2008, pp. 111–5. ISBN: 9780814722312. [Preview with Google Books]

Fried, Marlene Gerber. “The Economics of Abortion Access in the U.S.” Conscience: The NewsJournal of Catholic Opinion. Winter 2005–2006.

Harris, Lynn. “Shelter from the Storm.” Salon.com. June 9, 2004.

Rodriguez, Pablo. “The Doctor in the Bulletproof Vest.” New York Times (op–ed). October 28, 1998.

Freedman, Lori, Uta Landy, et al. “Obstacles to the Integration of Abortion into Obstetrics and Gynecology Practice.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 42, no. 3 (2010): 146–51.

Parker, Willie Parker. “A Perspective on Later Abortion…from Someone Who Does Them.” Conscience: The NewsJournal of Catholic Opinion XXXIII, no. 1 (2012).

Roe at 40: New Infographics Illustrate Key Facts about Abortion in the United States.” Guttmacher Institute. January 8, 2013.

1 in 3 website. Advocates for Youth.

Kumar, Anu. “Abortion, the States and the World Health Organization.” Huffington Post. August 10, 2012.

Pollitt. Katha. “Remember Savita Halappanavar.” The Nation, November 20, 2012.

Fried, Marlene Gerber. “Reproductive Rights Activism in the Post–Roe Era.” American Journal of Public Health 103, no. 1 (2013): 10–4. (optional)

Trust Black Women website.

6 Who Counts as a Mother? Outsourcing Reproduction

Documentary: Made in India: A Film About Surrogacy. Directed by Rebecca Haimowitz & Vaishali Sinha. Color, 97 min., 2010. 

Documentary: Angel for Hire. Directed by Nina Goodby and Mary Flynn. 2011. 

Straight, Susan. “Making Babies, Just to Make Ends Meet” (op–ed). New York Times, November 3, 2012.

Ikemoto , Lisa Chiyemi. “Reproductive Tourism: Equality Concerns in the Global Market for Fertility Services.” Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice 27 (2009): 277–309.

Pande, Amrita. “Commercial Surrogacy in India: Manufacturing a Perfect Mother–Worker.” Signs 35, no. 4 (2010): 969–92.

Bellafante, Gina. “Surrogate Mothers’ New Niche: Bearing Babies for Gay Couples.” New York Times, May 27, 2005.

Cohen, Elizabeth. “Surrogate Offered $10,000 to Abort Baby.” CNN. March 6, 2013.

7 Lesbian Mothers

Polikoff Nancy. “Lesbian and Gay Parenting: The Last Thirty Years.” Montana Law Review, Winter 2005.

Rizzo, Tony. “Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Lesbian Mother’s Rights.” The Kansas City Star, February 23, 2013.

Pluta, Rick. “Challenge To Michigan’s Gay Marriage Ban Grows From Adoption Case.” NPR. March 7, 2013.

Goldberg, Abbie E., Jordan B. Downing, et al. “Choices, Challenges, and Tensions: Perspectives of Lesbian Prospective Adoptive Parents.” Adoption Quarterly 10, no. 2 (2007): 33–64.

Johnson, Katherine M. “Excluding Lesbian and Single Women? An Analysis of U.S. Fertility Clinic Websites.” Women’s Studies International Forum 35, no. 5 (2012): 394–402.

Eskridge Jr., William N. Chapter 8 in Gaylaw: Challenging the Apartheid of the Closet. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1999. (Optional: assumes some knowledge of constitutional law.) ISBN: 9780674341616. [Preview with Google Books]

8 Poor Single Mothers

Documentary: Take it from Me. Directed by Abt, Emily. Color, 75min. 2001.

“Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act.” (PDF). 1996. Read pages 6-8. 

Mink, Gwendolyn, and Rickie Solinger. “Welfare Policy/Welfare Reform.” In Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics and Policy. Edited by Gwendolyn Mink and Alice O’Connor. ABC–CLIO, 2004, pp. 803–15. ISBN: 9781576075975. [Preview with Google Books]

Solinger, Rickie. “The First Welfare Case: Money, Sex, Marriage, and White Supremacy in Selma, 1966, A Reproductive Justice Analysis.” Journal of Women’s History 22, no. 3 (2010): 13–38.

Mink, Gwendolyn. “Violating Women: Rights Abuses in the Welfare Police State.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 577 (2001): 79–93.

Romero, Diana, and Liza Fuentes. “[The Welfare Cap Family Policy: Fertility Restriction as Poverty Prevention (PDF)](http://popdev.hampshire.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/u4763/DT 66 - Fuentes.pdf).” Different Takes 66 (Fall 2010). PopDev Center at Hampshire College.

Finch, Ife, and Liz Schott. “The Value of TANF Cash Benefits Continued to Erode in 2012.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 28, 2013.

Casey, Timothy, and Laurie Maldonado. “Worst Off—Single Parent Families in the United States.” Legal Momentum, December 2012.

Mencimer, Stephanie. “The GOP’s Dead–End Marriage Program.” Mother Jones, June 25, 2012.

9 Imprisoned Mothers and Mothers with Criminal Records

Documentary: “When the Bough Breaks: Children of Mothers in Prison.” Directed by Jill Evans Petzall and Deeds Rogers. 58 min, 2001. 

Reynolds, Tina. “Glossary of Terms.” In Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States. University of California Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780520258891. (Read this glossary first.)

Incarcerated Women (PDF).” fact sheet. The Sentencing Project.

Young, Robin, and Jeremy Hobson. “Dramatic Shift in U.S. Prison Populations.” Here and Now on NPR. March 28, 2013.  
(WBUR interview with Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project. WBUR has a link to Mauer’s new report on the changing racial dynamics of women’s imprisonment, if you are interested in learning more.)

Flavin, Jeanne. “Bad Mothers.” Chapter 7 in Our Bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women’s Reproduction in America. New York University Press, 2010, pp. 139–63, and notes on pp. 241–52. ISBN: 9780814727911.

Escober, Martha. “ASFA and the Impact on Imprisoned Migrant Women and Their Children.” In Razor Wire Women: Prisoners, Activists, Scholars, and Artists. Edited by Jodie Lawston and Ashley Lucas. State University of New York Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781438435329.  
(You can skip ahead and read pp. 80–8 if pressed for time, begin reading at “Mothering from the Inside” and read the two case studies and conclusion.)

Solinger, Rickie, Paula C. Johnson, et al. Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States. University of California Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780520258891.  
(Selections, including first–person accounts of pregnancy and mothering from prison and of advocacy work by: Kimberly Burke, Tabitha and Christy Hall, Kebby Warner, Kathy Boudin, Joanne Archibald, Sophia Sanchez, Kemba Smith)

Kraft-Stolar, Tamar. “A Fair Chance for Families Separated by Prison.” Community Blog, North Star Fund. June 30, 2010.

Hsu, Andrea. “Difficult Births: Laboring and Delivering in Shackles.” All Things Considered, NPR. July 16, 2010.

Shain, Karen." Unchain My Heart: The Shackling of Pregnant Women in Prison Needs to Stop." RH Reality Check, May 11, 2012.

———. “No More Shackles: AB 2530 IS SIGNED!” Strong Families, September 28, 2012.

Massachusetts House Bill 1433, an Act to Prevent Shackling and promote safe pregnancies for female inmates

Sudbury, Julia. “From Women Prisoners to People in Women’s Prisons: Challenging the Gender Binary in Antiprison Work.” In Razor Wire Women: Prisoners, Activists, Scholars, and Artists. Edited by Jodie Lawston and Ashley Lucas. State University of New York Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781438435329.

10 The Politics of Pregnancy and the Creation of Fetal Rights

Dershowitz, Alan. “Mothers’ Rights vs. Babies’ Rights,” and “Should Pregnant Women Be Denied Alcohol?” In Contrary to Popular Opinion. Berkley Trade, 1994, pp. 209–11 and 219–21. ISBN: 9780425141472.

Kennedy, Caroline, and Ellen Alderman. “In re A.C.: The Forced Cesarean Case.” In The Right to Privacy. Vintage, 1997, pp. 95–120, and endnotes. ISBN: 9780679744344.

Paltrow, Lynn, and Jeanne Flavin. “Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973–2005: Implications for Women’s Legal Status and Public Health.” Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law 38, no. 2 (2013): 299–343.

O’Connor, Anahad. “Really? An Occasional Drink is Okay During Pregnancy,” New York Times, April 22, 2013.

11 Gay Fathers Stacey, Judith. “Gay Parenthood and the End of Paternity as We Knew It.” Chapter 2 in Unhitched: Love, Marriage, and Family Values from West Hollywood to Western China. New York University Press, 2011, pp. 215–20. (notes) ISBN: 9780814737859. [Preview with Google Books]
12 Transgender Parents

Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, et al. “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (PDF).” National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Ball, Carlos Ball. “Transgender Parenthood: Gender Does Not Make a Parent.” May 4, 2012.

Chagnot, Annie. “From Humiliation to Appreciation,” New York Times, April 18, 2013.

Course Info

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Spring 2013
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