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By Valerie Hartouni

ISBN-10: 0816626227

ISBN-13: 9780816626229

ISBN-10: 0816686564

ISBN-13: 9780816686568

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Extra resources for Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the Remaking of Life

Sample text

The 19805 began, need we remind ourselves, in a flurry of antiabortion, antigay, anti-ERA, profamily, prolife, proAmerican rhetoric. 10 Indeed, in the early years of the 19805, abortion became not only the symbol of the general malaise that was slowly but persistently destroying the social body (as it destroyed the natural-familial-maternal body), but the ideological centerpiece of the New Right's campaign to revitalize the country politically and rehabilitate it morally. Thus, in April 1981, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee headed by conservative Senators John East and Orrin Hatch began hearings to Containing Women I 33 determine the life status of the fetus.

These legislative efforts have a potent analogue in popular discourse with the appearance of strange and fantastic images of fetuses in bus terminals Containing Women I 35 and public restrooms, as well as on billboards, magazine covers, and the evening news. These images present a prenatal entity with seemingly translucent skin, suspended in empty space or floating free, vulnerable, autonomous, and alone, sucking its thumb in some representations, raising its hands beseechingly in others. ").

21 Placid initially, the "movements" of Nathanson's "unborn child" become, by his account, ever more frantic and anguished as the aspiration begins. "Sensing danger," he tells us, it retreats from the aspirator and attempts, in ever more desperate motions, to escape from its sanctuary turned tomb. 22 Fletcher and Evans noted that ultrasound imaging of the "fetal form" tended to foster among pregnant women a sense of recognition and identification of the fetus as their own, as something belonging to and dependent upon them alone.

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Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the Remaking of Life by Valerie Hartouni


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