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Pregnancy as Crime - A Retrospective / Kate Manne

Feminology  a guide for womankind  giving in detail instructions as to motherhood  maidenhood  and the nursery  1902   14741589986

To white women there is generally this perception that after Roe we were in this golden age, a roughly fifty year period that was interrupted by Dobbs. That is a real mis-perception that we were in a golden age of women's freedoms, and that Dobbs represents a step forward/step back in terms of social progress. Now of course, Roe was really important. And I would not at any level suggest that Dobbs wasn't a massive step back. But it's important to be clear about the fact that there were still many people who even when Roe prevailed were subject to criminalization, and the enforcement of their pregnancies. But also for example state interventions like forced c-sections. You saw in some of the research that was done the fact that women whose bodies were subject to this suspicion who were particularly vulnerable to state intervention were sometimes forced to do things like emergency c-sections for non-emergency situation, where for example the person wanted to deliver vaginally, and was forced to undergo a c-section which was very likely not medically necessary. There was just a level of state intrusion and interference on the bodies of certain pregnant people that has been ongoing, even since Roe. Not via so much the legal system directly criminalizing pregnant bodies, but through the weaponization of laws that were never intended to do this. We had laws against child abuse and neglect being repurposed in many of these cases to criminalize the bodies of poor and dis-proportionally women of color when those laws were never intended for state oversight into pregnancy.

Writer and philosopher Kate Manne talks to Chuck about her substack article "Criminilaztion of Pregnant Bodies - A Brief Retrospective"

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Kate Manne

Kate Manne is a writer and assistant professor of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University.


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